This September the scenic Waccamaw River crested at more than 20 feet, flooding the city of Conway, South Carolina. The flood, caused by Hurricane Florence, garnered national attention, as the normally placid Waccamaw, which winds its way through Conway on its way to the Atlantic Ocean, left destruction and devastation in its path.
For the 17,000 residents of Conway, these “historic” weather events are, sadly, becoming the new normal. Occurring more frequently — and with greater intensity — the floods are permanently altering the way of life in Conway and surrounding communities. Even before Florence hit the region, devastating floods in 2015 and 2016 resulted in more than $1 million in damage to city property alone.
Recognizing this new reality, community leaders are taking steps to better prepare for the future. For long term-solutions, Conway is turning to land conservation and to the Open Space Institute.