Bridgepointe demolition a key feature in flood mitigation plan

January 16 17:11 2019 Print This Article

The former Bridgepointe townhouse community in the Shadowmoss subdivision will be demolished within 90 days. The land, now owned by City of Charleston as the result of a 2017 FEMA buyout, will soon be converted into a water storage area. Mayor John Tecklenburg, City Councilmen Kevin Shealy and Harry Griffin, Historic Charleston Foundation President Winslow Hastie, and representatives from the visiting Dutch Dialogues advisory team assembled at the site to kick off plans for flood mitigation in the community. The Dutch Dialogues Team has done flood mitigation planning in New Orleans, Hampton, VA, and other flood-prone communities.

Tecklenburg said, “We’re bringing in the world’s leading experts in water management to help us solve our (flooding) problem.” The advisory team has been surveying the Church Creek Drainage Basin in West Ashley and other flood-prone sites in Johns Island and the Charleston peninsula for the past seven months. The group expects to provide flood mitigation recommendations sometime during the summer of 2019.

The 32 housing units in the Bridgepointe community all sustained flooding damage during a 2008 rainstorm and flooded four more times from 2015 to 2017. City of Charleston provided a 25% match to FEMA’s $2.4 buyout agreement in 2017 with the commitment to not redevelop the land. The 2017 Church Creek Drainage Basin Study recommended that the land be converted to a water storage area. The demolition will be paid for by the FEMA grant.

Mayor Tecklenburg took questions after the presentation, and nearby resident Teresa Coats suggested that the site be converted into a bird sanctuary. The area already features many herons, egrets, ibises, woodstorks, and other waterfowl. Tecklenburg approached her afterward and said he would approach the local Audubon Society chapter and see if it would pursue a grant for that purpose.