Charleston looking to invest $10M on 2nd phase of potential fix to flood-prone intersection

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 3:54 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A potential fix now in the works for a downtown Charleston intersection plagued by longtime flooding issues could still take years before residents see major change.

Before Monday afternoon’s rain, a woman who lives near the intersection of King and Huger Streets called the area “lakefront property” because of the flooding at the intersection.

“So, the area at King and Huger is an area of known flooding,” Charleston Stormwater Management Project Manager Steve Kirk said. “We’ve had flooding there for quite some time. It’s a bowl, a sump, so the water collects there and has a difficult time getting out, so that’s why we’re adding new pipes, new infrastructure and a new pump station.”

Video following Friday night’s downpour captured standing water in the area up against the bricks of the James Simmons School near the intersection.

A driver of a low car tried to drive through the flooding but stalled their engine and pulled over at a nearby gas station. That night, the flooding reached up to the doors of some SUVs, forcing police to close the road.

The city said it has already invested $5 million to increase the size of the pipes and add extra drains to this intersection. Neighbors said while the investment has helped some, it has not made the problem go away.

Kirk said the city is investing another $10 million to put in a pump station to get the water out quicker.

He said the pump station will be ready in about four years. Only then, he said, will people see major change to this intersection.