Charleston, Army Corps of Engineers partner to study inland flooding

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 3:59 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 7:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have partnered again for a new project focused on flooding in areas away from the coast.

City and federal officials said the new study is separate from the current project on the peninsula. That project on the peninsula is mostly geared toward storm surge and sea level rise. They said this new citywide study will focus on flooding due to tides and rainfall.

Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2020 through the Water Resources Development Act to study tidal and inland flooding in Charleston.

Mayor John Tecklenburg said the Corps will take into account all of the drainage and stormwater projects the city is working on, like the Forest Acres Project in West Ashley off Playground Road.

Officials said the study will determine if there is a federal interest in the project. If there is, the federal government would pay for 65% of the eventual project.

The mayor said some of the main reasons for partnering with the Corps again are for their expertise and to help pay for the projects.

“They will certainly look at any known flooding that’s happening now, but they’ll also be thinking about sea level rise by 2050,” Tecklenburg said. “To take into account, ‘If you add another 14 inches what’s going to happen?’ It could be a problem in other places that aren’t flooding now to be thinking ahead about what’s going to happen in the future.”

Officials said a cost-sharing agreement between the Corps and the city for the study is in the works and is expected to be signed next year. That cost will be split 50/50.