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A Post and Courier Podcast

Understand SC: The plan to build a sea wall around Charleston, explained

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Earlier this year, Charleston got a first looks at plans for what would be the city's biggest and most complicated flooding mitigation program yet: a sea wall that would wrap eight miles around the peninsula. 

The wall was the preferred path chosen by the Army Corps of Engineers, which was tasked with figuring out a way to better protect the city from life-threatening storm surge during hurricanes. 

Immediately, a slew of questions were raised: How would it work? What would it look like? Where would it go? How much would it cost, and who would be paying for it? 

Some of those answers were available. (We know, for example, that the estimated price tag is $1.75 billion, and Charleston would have to cover $600 million of that bill.) Other questions can't be answered yet. 

To help clear up what we know and what we don't, reporter Chloe Johnson joined us to discuss the plans, which she has been following closely since they were rolled out in the spring. 

We also talked about how the sea wall proposal — and the debate that's surrounded it — is representative of an existential question the Charleston peninsula faces as sea levels rise and flooding becomes more frequent: wall off the waters or retreat to higher ground? 

Listen now to learn more.  

Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that draws from the reporting resources and knowledge of the newspaper to help you better understand our state. This episode was hosted by Emily Williams and Gavin McIntyre. It was edited by Matt Rasnic.

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Reach Emily Williams at 843-937-5553. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

Emily Williams is a business reporter at The Post and Courier, covering tourism and aerospace. She also writes the Business Headlines newsletter and co-hosts the weekly news podcast Understand SC.

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