KICA’s Flood Mitigation Efforts
The Kiawah Island Community Association has been working to optimize the island’s stormwater drainage system to more quickly and effectively displace water in a heavy rainfall or storm surge event. In the spring of 2020, members approved a special assessment to fund six infrastructure improvement projects that will result in reduced flooding in known susceptible locations. These projects will keep roads open to traffic in many significant rainfall events and represent a foundational step in Kiawah’s water management planning.
The infrastructure improvements began in May 2020 and all six are expected to be complete by the end of 2022. The special assessment will be billed annually to members for five years at $65 per improved property and $130 per unimproved property. The first payment was required in June 2020 and the final payment will be billed in June 2024.
The association and other island entities are also collaborating to prepare for the long-term impacts of climate change including the increased frequency of storms and rising sea levels. In 2020 KICA established the Adaptive Management Plan Task force, with the endorsement of the town, to seek member input in the initial development of a plan that will allow Kiawah to adapt with changing environmental conditions. This plan will utilize critical data collected from the Town of Kiawah Island’s new tide gauge at the Kiawah River Bridge. The gauge records water levels that will be analyzed to understand any changes over time. The Kiawah Conservancy is also making significant contributions to flood mitigation efforts through their Marsh and Groundwater studies, which will provide a complete picture of the water below and around the island. Together these efforts will provide our island with a comprehensive understanding of our water environment, how it changes over time, and what actions island leaders should take to preserve our special island community.
If you witness flooding on the island, please share a quick report of the flood water with KICA’s Resilience Specialist Lucas Hernandez.
Make Your Property More Water Resilient
Use the following resources to make your property more resilient to flooding. Water management solutions like these should be tailored to fit your property and can work alone or multiple approaches can be combined. Keep in mind that on Kiawah, you will likely need approval from the Architectural Review Board and encroachment permits before you proceed with a new water management solution.
The Town of Kiawah installed a high-tech tide gauge at the Kiawah River Bridge in 2020 to record water levels, which will be used to track trends over time.
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