GCWA FLOOD RESPONSE
The historic floods of 2015 put Gills Creek and the Gills Creek Watershed Association at the center of one of the worst flooding events in Columbia’s history. Our tiny, but well-positioned organization was able to be a reliable source of news and information in the days and weeks following the flood. Since flood recovery is far from complete, we are including some reminders of that difficult time here. Additional information may be found in our news archives and at ETV's site devoted to coverage of the historic event. .
The GCWA kept members and associates advised of flood status both during the flood and in its aftermath. Messages that were emailed and maintained on the website are below.
After the flood, DHEC commissioned the consulting firm HDR to prepare a report on dams in the Gills Creek Watershed.
Following the flood, GCWA did its best to encourage changes to limit damage in the future. Valerie Marcil was President of the GCWA at the time, and provided a long view of the situation in a November 2015 editorial in the State newspaper. (See link below.) Erich Miarka, GCWA's Executive Director at the time, followed up with another editorial in June 2016, also below.
Richland County Blue Ribbon Committee: The Blue Ribbon Committee was established by Richland County Council to serve as a stakeholder group that will make recommendations to Council about flood recovery efforts and how best to use flood relief funds. The committee includes representatives from local neighborhoods, non-profits, businesses, civic and faith-based groups and other organizations, as well as elected officials. Gills Creek is participating in these meetings. Meetings began in February 2016 and continue on a monthly schedule.
The schedule, agenda and minutes are available on the County's Richland County Blue Ribbon Committee web page.
City of Columbia Flood Recovery Plan: The City hired Landmark Consulting to develop a flood recovery plan which was developed in coordination with a number of City departments. The plan identifies projects that can be funded by the FEMA Public Assistance Grant, FEMA 406 Hazard Mitigation, CDBG-Disaster Recovery, 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, NRCS Waterway Debris Removal, Pre-disaster Mitigation Grant Program (PDM), and the Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program (FMA).
City Council received a flood recovery program report on July 19 which contains this and more information.