Governor leads Floodwater Commission in Marion County clean-up

Debris-clearing effort, tree plantings, and meetings held in flood-ravaged areas

MARION COUNTY, S.C. – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, U.S. Congressman Tom Rice, nationally syndicated journalist Armstrong Williams, state legislators, members of the South Carolina Floodwater Commission, military veterans, members of the judiciary, university presidents, ROTC cadets, and Boy Scouts joined hands with scores of other volunteers in a collaborative clean-up of highway culverts, ditches and low-lying areas in Marion County, Sat., June 15.

Left to right: Maj. Gen. George Goldsmith, Col. Steve Vitali, Gov. McMaster, Floodwater Commission Chair Tom Mullikin, and Col. Bill Connor in Nichols during the June 15 event.

The day-long series of events – including tree plantings, briefings by state and federal leaders, and visits to the towns of Nichols, Sellers, Marion, and Mullins – were part of an overall flood-fighting effort and a strong message of hope delivered by the Governor and his Floodwater Commissioners with the assistance of the S.C. Dept. of Transportation (SCDOT) to residents in one of the hardest-hit regions of the state in terms of recent flooding.

“We are sending a very clear message across the state and frankly the nation that South Carolina under the leadership of Gov. McMaster is preparing to meet any and all challenges from extreme weather and flooding like what we have experienced since 2015,” says Tom Mullikin, chairman of the S.C. Floodwater Commission. “What the people of Marion County have experienced is unimaginable to most folks living and working outside of flood-prone areas. We are letting everyone know that we are not simply talking, but doing something about it, working aggressively to mitigate any future floodwater events.”

Governor McMaster says, “When we work together, we can accomplish great things. And when you have this kind of talent and drive to draw on, all you have to do is come up with an idea and say, ‘let’s get started.’ And that’s what we’ve done.”

McMaster adds, “The Floodwater Commission is the first such organization like this in the world.”

Lt. Gov. Evette agrees. “This is not happening in any other state or anywhere else in the world,” she says. “This is historic and I’m looking forward to seeing how this grows statewide.”

Much of the day’s clearing of debris along the roadways in-and-around Nichols was overseen by the state’s Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall, the head of SCDOT who also chairs the Commission’s Infrastructure and Shoreline Armoring Task Force.

“This is not only SCDOT,” says Hall. “We have over 300 volunteers working today.”

Formed in Oct. 2018, the S.C. Floodwater Commission is composed of 10 named-task forces (subcommittees) each with a specific mission targeting statewide vulnerabilities, assessing potential risks, and engineering solutions going forward.

The task forces include an Infrastructure and Shoreline Armoring Task Force, Grid Security Task Force, Smart River and Dam Security Task Force, Artificial Reef Systems Task Force, Economic Development Task Force, Federal Funding Task Force, Stakeholder Engagement Task Force, Landscape Beautification and Protection Task Force, Living Shoreline Task Force, and National Security Task Force.

– For more information about the S.C. Floodwater Commission, visit https://governor.sc.gov/executive-branch/south-carolina-floodwater-commission.

Author: W. Thomas Smith Jr.

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