Report: Majority of Charleston homes vulnerable to flooding, storm surge

New Charleston hazard assessment shows majority of homes vulnerable to flooding, storm surge

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A new hazard assessment report shows the vast majority of the homes and businesses in Charleston are in at-risk areas during storm surges and rising tidal flooding.

The “All Hazards Vulnerability and Risk Assessment” reports 87 percent of homes and 84 percent of Charleston businesses are at risk in the case of a storm surge.

Because of this, downtown jobs are also dependent on how the city handles the threat of long-term flooding with the largest chunk of vulnerable jobs on the peninsula.

Charleston’s chief resilience officer Mark Wilbert said the information gathered is being used in a number of flooding projects in the area to prioritize helping certain areas in the city.

“As the city integrates it in, it should help us to know where to work first and to reduce our greatest risk,” Wilbert said.

Key findings show in the case of a major event, like a 100-year flood, emergency responders would not be able to reach about 86 percent of properties citywide because of roadway flooding.

Additionally, 99 percent of public housing units in the city are especially vulnerable to severe storm surge and tidal flooding.

Among dozens of recommendations for the city to address these issues, the study says the city leaders should prioritize resources emergency services in the case of major flooding events and increase building requirements in flood-prone areas by multiple feet.

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