WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - Whiteville City Council unanimously approved an ad hoc committee at its meeting Tuesday to study flooding within the city.
The joint committee will include appointees from the City of Whiteville and Columbus County to assess flooding and drainage issues.
City Manager Darren Currie stressed the importance of having the county’s help in alleviating flooding by cleaning the swamp and rivers.
“We have flooding or drainage issues in all parts of the city so we definitely want it to be a city-wide look,” said Currie. “And the thing we’ve impressed upon city council is that we can spend all the money we want inside the city to perform the transmission of water but once it gets to the swamp, if the swamps are not cleaned out and drainage is not cleaned out, then we’re not benefiting as much as we can.”
Currie says there are factors beyond the city limits which contribute to the flooding issue and while there’s no quick fix, working together will be beneficial for everyone.
“Obviously this is a much larger issue than just going in and cleaning out a few tributaries and a few swamps," he said. “Not only do we have issues within the city with impervious services (but) county residents contribute to that as well. The more parking lots that are paved out in the county, you know, those contribute to drainage issues. So there’s not a silver bullet that will fix everything. It’s a culmination of several things that will benefit the drainage in all of the White Marsh area.”
The White Marsh subbasin consists of 134 square miles and contains part of Chadbourn, all of Whiteville and the town of Brunswick. It also encompasses Soules Swamp.
It’s the most populated watershed in the Waccamaw subbasin, according to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.
Once county commissioners appoint their members, the committee will be brought up to speed on older studies and work to develop the next steps.
Five members will be appointed from the city and four will be appointed from the county.