Charleston Co. delegation addresses flooding, stormwater concerns

The Charleston County Legislative Delegation hosted a Flood Prevention Taskforce Committee meeting Friday afternoon.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 4:58 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 10:47 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – The Charleston County Legislative Delegation hosted a Flood Prevention Taskforce Committee meeting Friday afternoon, bringing together public works representatives to address problems from throughout the state.

The main topic of Friday’s meeting was the permitting process associated with stormwater outfall maintenance and what issues local governments are running into when it comes to receiving permits for large flooding-related projects.

Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, and Sens. Sandy Senn and Chip Campsen, hosted the meeting to have a group conversation with all 16 municipalities in Charleston County.

Topics discussed included permitting delays regarding the cleaning out outfalls, delays in permitting docks and other projects and the need to set deadlines for permitting.

“I think one of the worst things for the environment is having an outfall that doesn’t work,” Campsen says.

Friday was the first time the task force met in over a year, and members of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Army Corps of Engineers answered questions from representatives about what can be done to make these projects move along faster.

“There’s a lot of money coming down on the state and federal levels to provide funding for stormwater projects, and we want to make sure that the projects can get off the ground, and completed in a timely fashion before the funds expire,” Charleston County Legislative Delegation Flooding and Public Works Coordinator Phillip Sexton says.

“We just want to have an open dialogue with the agencies that review the permitting, and make sure that they are ready to get that slug of permit requests that are going to be coming down the pipeline here soon,” he adds.

The task force, which was created back in 2018, has helped over 400 constituents in Charleston County with their stormwater or flooding concerns.

“It is a resource out there to the citizens against issues with Charleston County, and the reason is that this flooding is not going away,” Sexton says. “I think we see that this has become somewhat of the new norm here in the Lowcountry, and as citizens of the county, we need to kind of learn to live with it to a certain extent; but also, if you have issues or concerns, we’re a resource that you can bring it up to.”

If you are experiencing problems with flooding or stormwater drainage, you submit a flood prevention application with the delegation.