The Stormwater Management Division coordinates projects designed to manage rainwater runoff in the City. The Division serves residents by maintaining stormwater retention areas and by making sure ditches and culverts are cleared throughout the City.
Our challenges include dealing with 300 years of often random construction and road design; being located in the Lowcountry where most property is very close to sea level and storm runoff is affected by tides; lacking a comprehensive updated stormwater system to address those challenges; and dealing with the State Department of Transportation, which owns and is supposed to maintain the drainage system.
To report flooding or other drainage issues, contact the Department at (843) 525-7054
While we have problems with heavy rainfall flooding across the City, we have specific challenges in certain neighborhoods:
This neighborhood, built and rebuilt throughout the 1900s, has several spots where rainfall collects because of inadequate and poorly-designated drainage. During August 2014, several heavy downpours flooded streets and homes. Our short-term fix was to hire outside contractors to pump out the drainage system and to help us clear the drains of debris (Spanish Moss, sticks, litter and pine needles).
We ask for residents' help - if you are out walking and notice a drain cover is blocked by debris, either clear it yourself or give us a call and let us know the location (you can reach is at 843-525-7054).
Downtown / The Point / Northwest Quadrant
Narrow roads, thick live oak trees roots and houses built close to each other directly affect our ability to redirect flooding rainwater. Add to that the restrictions of the National Historic Landmark District and our desire to protect it from change and we face major hurdles with drainage.
The good news is that most of this area is near the Beaufort River and its marshes, meaning stormwater doesn't have far to travel to reach an outfall away from homes and roads.
Mossy Oaks - Hundred Pines
When these neighborhoods were built in the 1900s, the roads and drainage plans might've been adequate for that period but certainly weren't designed for future growth. Today, these neighborhoods suffer routine storm flooding and ponding of water on roads and lawns.
Short-term fixes include keeping drains and drain covers clear of debris such as pine needles and Spanish Moss; long-term solutions include a comprehensive stormwater drainage plan to move water away from these low-lying areas to a centralized collection pond.