CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Next week, Charleston’s new flood and sea level rise strategy will go before city council.
It’s an updated version from what was first released in 2015, and it takes a deeper look at the issues created by storm surge, flooding and sea level rise and the solutions underway to fix them.
CLICK HERE to read the strategy.
“We’re spending a lot of money, and we want to make sure we are spending that money right and we’re spending it on projects that really make a difference,” Mark Wilbert, Charleston’s Chief Resilience Officer, said. “Things have changed, and they are changing rapidly, and we’ve learned a lot. The science has really caught up.”
CLICK HERE to visit the Charleston Flooding and Sea Level Rise webpage.
The Charleston Harbor tide gauge has been measuring sea level continuously since 1921. In that nearly 100-year time span, local sea level has risen 1.07 ft, according to the 2019 Flooding and Sea Level Rise Strategy.
The strategy updates the city's recommendation for building elevations to 2 to 3 feet to compensate for such sea level rise.
The strategy also lays out the details of projects already underway, like the reconstruction of the low battery seawall.
“People made mistakes back in the 1700s, the 1800s,” Wilbert said. “Now we’ve got to find ways to remedy that, to retrofit those mistakes that were made when we didn’t understand what the future would look like.”
The strategy focuses on flooding from storm surge, rain, tidal changes, and sea level rise.
"We have to be smart about going forward, and that's the bigger challenge,” Wilbert said. “We've got to change where we build, what we build, and how we build."
Officials hope this report will help the public understand how comprehensive the city's plan is to address flooding issues.
"This requires every home owner, every business, the city, the county, the state, the federal government,” Wilbert said. “Everybody's got to be a part of this."