Governor McMaster Announces “Buy Back” Plan For Flooded Horry Families

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

Surrounded by local Horry County representative Heather Ammons Crawford and Senator Stephen Goldfinch, Governor McMaster announced the consolidation of the “Office of Resilience” to support flood families throughout the state. The office is a cabinet level agency reporting to the governor.

Ben Duncan, Program Director – heads the state-wide resilience office that the governor said manages $450 million in community block grants. Duncan said he would be working with the state legislature. He said the state legislature had already put $50 million in a reserve fund.

South Carolina has allocated nearly $15.6 million in grants for the Socastee flood relocation program, according to Horry County Councilman Cam Crawford. Horry County will receive the grants for flood mitigation activities, with more than $13 million of the funding dedicated to the relocation of repeat flood victims through voluntary buyouts of eligible homes.

Duncan stated that Federal dollars would be available for current and future damages. He said the office would purchase homes from families suffering repetitive flooding issues.

Said April O’Leary of Horry County Rising, “It costs less to prevent flood damage through voluntary buyouts and elevations rather than continuing to fund rebuilds.  The HUD grant funds will help Horry families that are affected by flooding but they will also strengthen our counties resilience. Facilitating and incentivizing mitigation is the most effective means of bending the cost curve for disasters, which cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Unfortunately, mitigation funds take too long to get to impacted communities and many Horry County residents have flooded another 3-4 times since congress approved these funds in 2018.

The Office of Resilience will leverage State taxes, Federal taxes, and local taxes to financially assist flooded families. Funds will be used for studies, causation studies, flood planning, and the comprehensive plan will include a “buy out” option for repetitively flooded homes. Duncan said the “buy out” has a cap of $250,000.00 per home.

Duncan also said the homes will be purchased at fair market value priced before the homes were first flooded. “Some funds would be forthcoming in perhaps months,” Duncan added.


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