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Mon Apr 27, 2020, 08:05 AM

For $1.75 Billion, Charleston SC Flood Wall Would NOT Protect: Aquarium, Ferry Terminal, AA Museum

The flood wall proposed to shield Charleston from surging ocean in a hurricane wouldn’t protect the S.C. Aquarium, the State Ports Authority’s Columbus Street Terminal or the new International African American Museum.

The wall, part of a $1.75 billion plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to protect the Charleston peninsula, would wrap around most of the lower city, and could help with both tropical cyclones and higher tides from sea level rise. The city of Charleston would need to pitch in 35 percent, or about $600 million.

But in addition to standing behind those high-profile landmarks, the wall would give no protection to the low-income housing Bridgeview Village apartments or the Rosemont community, a small neighborhood that regularly sees its own flooding issues. Instead, the Corps is suggesting “nonstructural” work at those two sites — which may mean buying out the properties and leveling them, or may mean preserving the homes by elevation, relocation or flood-proofing.


The flood protection plan, the result of 18 months of study, will be refined over the next year and the path of the wall could still change. For it to actually come to fruition would take community buy-in, and an appropriation from Congress; City Council won’t have to commit until fall of 2021, but even after then, the federal government may not decide to fund the plan.



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