Hartsville weighs options to help flooded neighborhood

By Samantha Lyles

Flooding woes in the Kenwood subdivision were up for discussion at a Sept. 29 work session of Hartsville City Council. While no votes were taken at this meeting, council members reviewed citizen concerns and heard about potential options to help mitigate flooding problems in this North 5th Street community.
Citizen Ricky Fink appeared at the Aug. 11 meeting of Hartsville City Council and discussed flooding issues on Lanier, Kenwood and downtown. Fink said that the water problems around town developed over a number of years, noting that when he was growing up “it was unheard of that the city flooded.”
Fink said he bought property on Lanier Street in 1985 and built two homes there in the Kenwood Drive subdivision. He said he spoke with people who had lived in that area for decades and they reported that the area had no flooding troubles.
This changed in the mid-1990s when 5th Street was enlarged to four lanes, and a new property owner near Kenwood closed two ditches that channeled stormwater overflow away from homes.
He said that the stormwater flooding that now regularly backs up into yards and homes in his neighborhood also impacts local industry, such as the flooding experienced at the Sonoco Products paper mill just northwest of Kenwood Avenue.
Representatives from Hanna Engineering presented City Council with some options to help alleviate the flooding, including installing drain pipes to channel water from the Lanier Street ditch into a 4.5 acre “depressed wooded area” lying 18 inches lower than street level, turning it into a natural detention pond.
Their report estimated the pond could divert 1.6 million gallons of overflow and reduce the backup of stormwater into the Kenwood community by about 4 inches. The cost of this project was estimated at $190,000.
Another option calls for excavating this same 4.5 acres to a depth of 4 feet (groundwater level) for a storage capacity of 5.4 million gallons. This option could reduce backflow into Kenwood by 7.5 inches and reduce flooding by about 31 percent for a cost of $625,000.
Two other options call for building stormwater pump stations at the intersection of Lanier Street and 5th Street and pushing water through new 20-inch mains into Lake Robinson. These plans – presented as two or three pump options – could keep stormwater moving out of the area even after the detention pond fills up. The two pump stations would cost $1,015,000 and the three pump stations would cost $1.75 million.
Hanna Engineering’s report stated that “although the above improvements can provide benefits individually, they could also be combined together in various combinations.”
They also propose further study of drainage pipes to determine if some of the water flowing downhill toward Sonoco could be redirected to the Red Fox or Oakdale outfalls, or whether new or larger bore outfall pipes would improve the situation.

Author: Stephan Drew

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