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What's causing Bees Ferry flooding? One man thinks he knows, and offers possible solution

West Ashley Drainage (WCIV)

It’s the number one question for hundreds of people living in neighborhoods near Bees Ferry Road: what's causing floodwaters after strong storms?

ABC News 4 met a man on a mission to find answers. And he's looking in to areas where few people tend to go.

Its a long walk in the woods for Julian Porter as he points to a possible problem spot for flooding.

"Railroad tracks right there. It's those big pipes I told you about," said Porter as he gestures toward a culvert several hundred feet away from where he stood.

They're hidden drainage areas in a heavily wooded area of the Church Creek basin.

"That way is 61. That way is Glenn McConnell,” he said while pointing in each direction.

It takes GPS to find it.

“We're right there where the blue spot is," he noted while showing a map on his phone.

Julian says he's studying the land near Crosstowne Christian Church. He wants to know why this area of Bees Ferry Road floods during heavy rain.

"I'm basically putting my feet in the shoes of the flooded homeowners. We all pay this storm water fee. And this. This is where the storm water goes," Porter said.

He’s the HOA president for the Sienna neighborhood of nearby Grand Oaks Plantation. While his street hasn’t flooded, Porter worries how storm water affects Shadowmoss, Hickory Hills, and Hickory Farms.

Porter believes litter, debris, and nature are blocking the flow of storm water.

"You see those pipes underneath that train trestle right there? They're humongous. You can stoop down and walk through them. And it drains to this. This is a bottleneck," he said.

"They may affect the drainage capacity when it’s at its lowest levels. But not under a flooded condition," explained Bob Horner, an engineer for Weston & Sampson.

He was hired by the city of Charleston. While he admits there are complicated solutions to stopping floodwaters, he thinks some relief may come from the city's plans to improve this part of West Ashley.

"At some point in the future when they decide to move forward so that they can contribute to the kind of reducing the flooding potential and work towards eliminating it," Horner said.

"I hope they clear that out and make it drain better," Porter said while showing litter and debris near a drainage pipe.

Julian Porter just wants answers to reflect the needs of his neighbors.

"They need to hold the water here. Not in the people's yards and homes," he said.

Bob Horner tells ABC News 4 his engineers will attend a workshop with city officials on Wednesday to talk about their research. On Friday, October 27, engineers will turn in recommendations to help prevent future flooding.

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