Town, County Discuss Plans to Clear Waccamaw Shores Canal

A brief meeting at Lake Waccamaw set the course to solve a lot of issues in the town. The half hour monthly gathering addressed what to do with unused vehicles and equipment, flooding issues, and the overgrowth of algae and buildup of debris floating in the water behind homes on Waccamaw Shores.  

Commissioners approved a motion to accept a resolution giving the Town Manager Damon Kempski permission Tuesday to sell surplus equipment accumulated throughout the years by the municipality. Most of the list includes old vehicles, boat motors, backhoes, lawn mowers, and other maintenance equipment.  

“This is something that is well overdue,” said Mayor Matt Wilson after reading the list to the board and the crowd. Lake Waccamaw will be running an ad with media outlets requesting sealed bids for the items listed and sell them to the highest bidder.

The commissioners meeting was the second of the day for Kempski. He met with homeowners on Waccamaw Shores and with Columbus County Water and Soil to find out what could be done about the overgrowth of plant life and broken trees in the water behind homes. Last year, residents in the area were battling drought conditions and the lack of wildlife, but this summer several inches of rain have caused deadfall trees, limbs and debris in the waterway.  

“It was a good meeting. It was a productive meeting, and we were able to address some of the concerns that people had about the canal. It brought everyone together so that information could be conveyed,” said Kempski. 

Kempski said that it outlined the scope of what could be done by the town, county, and landowners. He stated that it “gave approved understanding” about what agencies and individuals could and couldn’t do. It was also discovered that the channel was not riverfed but was a body of water all its own, an unexpected advantage that will keep homes from being flooded because the river can’t back up into the canal.  

 Columbus County Soil and Water have come up with a plan of action to alleviate some of the debris built up in the canal which includes eradicating the majority of the algae and removing broken limbs and wood litter. 

 Lake Waccamaw experienced flooding in neighborhoods on Columbia Avenue, Sutton Place, and Lakeshore Drive during Hurricane Idalia. Wilson said there may be some relief for homeowners on those streets.  

“I met with one of the landowners at Sutton Place, and he has agreed to let us clean his ditch,” explained Wilson.  

Many public comments have been made in the past about standing water and overflows in that section of Lake Waccamaw, and recent rain events have led to water almost making it into homes due to the flooding. The town is working diligently to resolve the issues, Wilson said.  

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