West Ashley Library explores options for flood prevention

Charleston County News

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) – In recent years, the West Ashley branch of the Charleston County Public Library has suffered from serious flood water damage.

“Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Matthew were quite devasting to this building. With Matthew, in particular, we had a high loss of computers, books, materials, furniture and the library was closed for about two months,” says Angelina Craig, the Executive Director of Charleston County Public Library.

Representatives of the branch tell News 2 that they would always rather be safe than sorry, even if the weather is not quite hurricane status.

“Last Thursday there was a severe weather alert, we had to close this branch two hours early at 4 pm to do our flood protocol, [and] make sure the building was ready. Unfortunately, it did have a public impact,” says Craig.

Tbranch says that they have a couple of proposals currently on the table to address the flooding: renovating or moving.

However, there are pros and cons to both.

Carl Wohlfeil serves as the Design and Construction Manager for Charleston County. He noted pros and cons of both scenarios:

If the branch chooses to renovate, they would make improvements to the building, but would not be able to completely flood-proof it.

If the branch chooses to move, they could find “an alternate location that offers more resiliency” and the potential for an updated space with more library services, but residents were opposed to this option.

Residents were asked to leave their feedback for the decision makers to consider.

After Tuesday night’s meeting, the library has decided to bookmark this discussion for a later date.

If you missed this meeting, you can still give feedback on the branch’s website, or in person.

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