For the first time, citizens of Charleston heard their mayor put the flooding crisis at the very top of the city’s agenda in his State of the City speech on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Groundswell! was gratified to hear these words after Mayor Tecklenburg’s promise to do just that at our Jan. 11 general meeting. In his speech, which is available on UTube, (http://youtu.be/ofNjqlGZ-cE ), the mayor aptly noted: “For more than 300 years, the people of Charleston has lived with the the threat of hurricanes, high tides and flooding. But now, with rising seas, a history of ill-advised development in some areas, and three major flood events in three years, we simply must make flooding and drainage our top long-range priority.” The mayor went on to cite projects under way and planned, adding that a major challenge will be how to pay for the critical job of saving the city. Coming up with the dollars for vital protective infrastructure has been the focus of new conversations in our community in recent weeks. Some funds may come from tried and true government sources. But beyond that, we will need creative thinking, and some risk-taking, to complete the job. Time is clearly of the essence. Damaged homes need to be restored and future damage needs to be prevented. For the moment, we are pleased to have the mayor in our corner, but as we all know, we have barely begun.
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