Horry County continues to buy homes in flood-prone areas using federal grants

MYRTLE BEACH — Horry County plans to buy 30 more homes in flood-prone areas to reduce flooding risks from the Intracoastal Waterway.

Since June, the county has closed on 31 flood-prone properties in the neighborhoods of Rosewood Estates, Bridge Creek and Lawson’s Landing within the Socastee community.

Residents in those neighborhoods who may qualify for the program are encouraged to contact the Horry County Community Development Office, and apply while funds are still available, officials said.

“The county is pleased that families who wished to participate in the buyout program to move out of harm’s way have had the opportunity to do so,” the office said in a statement.

The program is voluntary and pays for the purchase and demolition of flood-prone homes. The county has not yet confirmed how it will use the land after the homes are demolished.

The county has purchased the homes using $13 million in grant funding from the S.C. Office of Resilience disaster recovery division.

Planning for the program began after Hurricane Florence, which brought record rainfall and river flooding along the waterway and Waccamaw River in 2018. Dozens of county homes flooded from the storm, including in Conway, which has a similar buyout program specific to flood-prone properties within its city.

Out of 36 offers that have been made on the Socastee properties so far, only four homeowners have declined or withdrawn before closing, state officials said.

“The S.C. Office of Resilience remains committed to working with Horry County to move citizens out of harm’s way,” the agency said in a statement.

Although the county’s program is focused in Socastee, officials said that they may pursue grant opportunities in other areas as additional needs are identified.

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