Darlington County receives $8.6M Flood Buyout Grant from SC Office of Resilience

The South Carolina Office of Resilience (SCOR) Disaster Recovery Office held its Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Steering Committee meeting on November 15, 2022. During the meeting, Committee members reviewed and approved $8.6 million in mitigation buyout funding for Darlington County.

This project benefits communities in Darlington County that have experienced repetitive flooding along the Black Creek and associated tributaries.

“Securing this funding to offer voluntary buyouts is a major win for residents of Darlington County,” said Senator Gerald Malloy. “Some residents have been experiencing these problems for decades and this program can provide an option for them to get out of harm’s way.”

The purpose of SCOR’s CDBG-MIT Buyout Program is to provide an option for citizens whose properties flood repetitively to move away from hazardous areas so that the natural function of the floodplain can be restored. The program is completely voluntary, and the properties acquired are returned to green space, creating an opportunity for flood waters to be captured through stormwater parks, water retention ponds, or other mechanisms. SCOR aims to buyout contiguous properties in order to avoid a “checkerboard” effect, where some citizens are removed from the floodplain and others remain. Offers made to homeowners are based on appraisals performed by South Carolina certified appraisers plus eligible incentives provided by the program.

The Darlington County Flood Study, funded by SCOR’s CDBG-MIT Plans & Studies program, helped to identify the buyout project as a solution to reduce the impacts of flooding in the county. The Study is still ongoing and is expected to be complete in January 2023.

This round of approvals completes the Buyout portion of SCOR’s CDBG-MIT Program. SCOR is accepting applications for its CDBG-MIT Plans & Studies program and Matching Grants year-round and expects to open an application window for CDBG-MIT Infrastructure funding in April 2023.

The SC Disaster Recovery Office (SCDRO) was established following the 2015 Historic Floods to carry out housing recovery and was tasked with the subsequent 2016 Hurricane Matthew and 2018 Hurricane Florence housing recovery missions. The SC Floodwater Commission, created in 2018, recommended the creation of a state resilience office to handle mitigation and resilience projects. The SC Office of Resilience was signed into legislation in September 2020, absorbing SCDRO, and is an office of the Governor. For additional updates and information on SCOR’s disaster recovery, mitigation, and resilience efforts in South Carolina, follow SCOR on social media or visit SCOR on the web at scor.sc.gov.

Author: Stephan Drew

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