Proposed Canal on the Waccamaw Just Doesn’t Make Sense

Last week I attended a public meeting hosted by the Army Corp of Engineers where they discussed one of their recent reports concerning a possible canal on the Waccamaw River to reduce flooding.   The study concluded that the cost, both economic and environmental, would make such a canal unrealistic.

Though I sympathize with the landowners concerned about flooding risks to their homes, the potential negative impacts to the drinking water supply, surrounding wetlands, plant and animal life as well as outdoor recreation far outreach the minimal reduction in floodwater levels such a canal would create.  Instead, landowners and decision makers should focus on restoration of natural systems and invest in green infrastructure solutions to protect communities against the effects of future flooding. 

The community and FEMA have already taken a great step by moving people and property out of harm’s way.  After flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999, FEMA helped relocate several residents to limit the number of people and property that would be affected by a similar flood to about 15 homes, according to Horry County Council Chairwoman Liz Gilland.  Staying out of harm’s way in the first place is one of the best ways for communities to combat the high costs of flood damage.

You can read more about this in the Horry Independent or by reading the full report issued by the Army Corp of Engineers.