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Katie Arrington announces Lowcountry flooding plan

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Standing with municipal, county and state leaders - State Representative and Republican Nominee for Congress (SC-1) Katie Arrington made three major announcements regarding solutions to Lowcountry flooding at a press conference today.

Arrington announced that, starting next Thursday, she will hold weekly Flooding Solutions Roundtables - open discussions with residents, business owners, community leaders, and elected officials to listen to their concerns and their ideas for solutions. Arrington added that she will host monthly Flooding Solutions Roundtables during her term in office.

Arrington also announced that, as Congresswoman, she will have a dedicated staff member working on flooding issues throughout the district. This staff member will be someone experienced on the flooding issue and tasked with working on intergovernmental cooperation on mitigation projects, assisting families with FEMA claims, and helping Arrington with changes to the flood insurance program.     And, Arrington also announced that she will offer a full proposal for flooding solutions on the day she is sworn into office.

Arrington's full remarks from the press conference are as follows:

"There are a number of important issues that face our community, and we are here today to make an announcement about one that affects nearly every part of the district.  From here, near Church Creek in West Ashley, to the Marlborough neighborhood on James Island, from the Boulder Bluff neighborhood in Goose Creek to the All Joy area of Bluffton, from downtown Charleston to Belvedere Estates in Hanahan, from College Park in Ladson to the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, and, again, nearly everywhere in between - flooding has been and continues to be a top concern for residents and businesses alike.

That is why I am honored to have standing with me, leaders from municipal, county, and state governments. I thank Senator Sandy Senn, Representative Lin Bennett, Charleston County Councilman Brantley Moody, and Charleston City Councilman Kevin Shealy for standing with me and working hard to bring real solutions to the flooding problems in the Lowcountry.  Today, I am announcing three major initiatives to address the flooding problem in the Lowcountry.  First, starting next Thursday, we will be holding a series of Flooding Solutions Roundtables.  

These open discussions will be opportunities to meet with residents, business owners, community leaders, and elected officials to listen to their concerns and their ideas for solutions. 

We will be holding weekly Flooding Solutions Roundtables throughout the rest of the campaign in homes, community centers, and coffee shops around the district.  Most importantly, when I am elected, I will be holding monthly Flooding Solutions Roundtables for my term in office.   Second, as Congresswoman, I will have a dedicated staff member working on flooding issues throughout the district.  The staff member will be someone experienced on the issue and tasked with working on intergovernmental cooperation on mitigation projects, assisting families with FEMA claims, and helping me with changes to our flood insurance program.     And, third, over the course of the coming weeks and months, we are going to be drafting a full proposal to be ready on the day I am sworn into office. 

We need to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. 

We need a cooperative, comprehensive plan; and there is already widespread agreement on some of the items that need to be addressed.  For example, we need better ditch and retaining pond maintenance. This is something the federal government can and should help with, both by helping to cover the costs for state and municipal maintenance and by increasing education for HOAs and homeowners about how individual actions contribute to the problem.  We need to look at specific flooding projects throughout the district such as upsized and more uniform storm drains, water diversion projects, and an expanded seawall for the Peninsula. 

Nearly every community has projects that desperately need funding.  The federal government has appropriated our tax dollars for flooding mitigation.  I will go to Washington to get our fair share.    We need to have an open discussion about how local governments work together to craft uniform freeboard standards.  We need to revisit requirements for future development projects.  And, we need to address the way FEMA funds are spent - ensuring we're not just cleaning up after the last flood, but also preparing for the next one.    Those are just some of the examples we are already working on. 

But rest assured, everything will be on the table. 

And the purpose of the Flooding Solutions Roundtable series is to hear from the people of the Lowcountry to better understand the local issues, down to the specific ditches that are overflowing.  We need to hear from people who have their own ideas on what we can do.  One final note: we need to cooperate, not compete.  By that, I mean every single community in the Lowcountry has problems that need to be addressed.  But we are stronger when we speak with one voice.

We need to and will come together - residents, HOAs, community leaders, business owners, and municipal, county, and state elected officials - to work as a one team to get this done.      Again, the first Flooding Solutions Roundtable will be held here in the Shadowmoss neighborhood at the home of Charleston City Councilman Harry Griffin. Details of next week's roundtable and subsequent roundtables will be posted on our Facebook page and website, Vote Katie Arrington dot com.
 In closing, I thank Senator Senn, Representative Bennett, and Councilmen Moody, Shealy and Griffin for their leadership and support of these efforts. I look forward to continuing to work with them as a team when I am in Congress to drain the Lowcountry and fix the flooding problems in our community."


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