Williamsburg County gets more than $20 million in funding for flood prevention Kingstree News

Williamsburg County has received a grant for more than $20 million for flood prevention.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has awarded the county $24.7 million dollars to address flooding in the Black River watershed that covers roughly two-thirds of the county. The county applied for the funding through the NRCS’ Watershed Flood Prevention Operations program.

“This is the first step to alleviating the drainage concerns for Williamsburg County,” Williamsburg County Public Information Officer Jeff Singleton said in a statement. “These drainage concerns have been a major concern for County Supervisor Tiffany Cooks, and these funds will go a long way to help with those concerns.”

The WFPO program, which receives funding from congress, provides technical and financial assistance to states and local governments to plan and implement projects for flood prevention, watershed protection and water quality improvement among others.

The NRCS will help design the projects to mitigate flooding by redirecting water in a controlled manner to prevent damage to property. Potential projects include construction of detention ponds, digging new and enhancing existing ditches, and improving storm water drains.

NRCS officials expect the project to take 3-5 years to complete. NRCS South Carolina State Conservation Engineer said the impacts will be countywide.

“This project is an opportunity to help the majority of the 31,000 people in Williamsburg County,” the engineer said in a statement from the state’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “Whether or not you live near the river, this is going to protect property and potentially save lives through mitigating flooding of streets, homes and other facilities.”

Singleton says that while the project may take time, the funding will help with much needed projects.

“With this funding flood relief is finally being addressed. These projects will take a considerable amount of time for planning, design and implementation over the coming several years,” Singleton said. “The progress will be slow but steady.”

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