American Rivers statement on flooding across North and South Carolina

October 12, 2016

October 13, 2016

Contact: Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

(Columbia, SC) — Hurricane Matthew’s impacts continue to devastate communities across North and South Carolina. Widespread flooding and more than 20 dam failures have put the health and safety of millions at risk.

This disaster comes just one year after South Carolina was devastated by flooding that ranks as the second most costly environmental disaster in the state’s history.

Gerrit Jobsis, Senior Director with American Rivers in Columbia, South Carolina, made the following statement:

“The loss of life in the wake of the flooding triggered by Hurricane Matthew is tragic. We offer heartfelt condolences to all of those impacted and we encourage the public to support relief efforts.”

“After the immediate disaster has passed, we need to work to make our rivers and communities more resilient so we don’t face similar tragedies in the future. We must learn from these experiences. With intense flooding becoming more frequent, we must look at how we can improve the management of our rivers.”

Flooding is a natural part of life on a river, but we can avoid catastrophic damage by restoring river health, reconnecting floodplains, improving dam safety, better managing stormwater runoff in urban areas and keeping homes and businesses out of harm’s way.”

“Working with nature and giving rivers room to safely accommodate flood water keeps communities safe and provides added benefits including clean water and fish and wildlife habitat. This should be the blueprint for our decision-makers as we move forward in addressing flooding concerns.”

“We stand ready to help communities across the Carolinas as they work to improve river management and dam safety in the wake of these devastating floods.”

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

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