For the past year, nearly every day this paper has had an article on flooding. My experience in working with FEMA over the past two years and three, 1,000-year rainfall events in Louisiana and Texas revealed that managing stormwater is vital to solving flooding problems.

Most communities manage stormwater to a jurisdictional boundary, then just dump it onto an adjacent jurisdiction. Eventually, the water makes it to a receiving stream or body of water. At this point, it becomes important to know the capacity of the receiving “stream” or flooding results.

An Aug. 8 article in the Summerville Journal Scene by George McDaniel clearly outlines the beginning of this process by mapping the Ashley River watershed.

FEMA’s concept of understanding the watershed is holistic. It accounts for all development. It is not a predictive model but rather a risk avoidance tool. FEMA funds the development of this tool as a way to “buy down risk” from future floods. The risk is the economic loss a community wants to prevent.

After the flooding dating to 2017, the tri-county area has an opportunity to ask FEMA to partner with us to develop this tool. It can help guide comprehensive land-use planning and stormwater management, rather than the piecemeal approach of using TIF funding and another Army Corps of Engineers study.

Rick Dawson

Out of Bounds Drive