On February 18th, Project Manager McSwain Armfield presented a plan to the Kingstree Town Council to address pipes, water backups and the canal formerly known as Kingstree Branch. The canal, which Williamsburg County and the Town of Kingstree, are held jointly responsible for has been plagued with flooding issues for decades. Armfield made a recommendation to make the canal a top priority. “Rehab the canal first,” said Armfield. “That’s going to be the biggest bang for your buck, the biggest value and improve the highest number of trouble spots”.

“The problem comes in the deferred maintenance and overgrown vegetation and sediment buildup in that canal,” said Armfield. In addition to the canal, he brought attention to the undersized pipes such as one on Eastland Avenue that runs under the road. It begins as a 60-inch pipe, which he said is barley enough to handle flow. However, he said further down the pipe turns into 48-inches, which is the reason behind the backups. He said there are other pipes that contain large amounts of sediment that hinders flow. Armfield recommended upgrading those pipes or dig them up and replace them with an open channel.

Armfield also he added the town should sit down and talk with the Corps of Engineers about funding and how they can contribute. Kingstree Town Manager Richard Treme said representatives from the Corps of Engineers recently visited the canal to review damages caused by flooding in 2015 and 2016 to evaluate what repairs they would make.