Fortunately, we didn’t feel many effects from the recent hurricane, but proper planning and stormwater-management techniques can help prevent flooding around your home in the case of extreme weather events.

Stormwater management is a challenge for coastal and inland communities. As we continue to alter our landscapes and replace green space with hard, impervious surfaces, our cities and communities will produce increased amounts of stormwater runoff. These challenges combined with increasingly severe and unpredictable storm events, sea level rise on our coastlines and aging infrastructure of stormwater systems often result in flooding.

Prevent clogs before a storm by not dumping or blowing yard debris, litter and other materials into storm drains and ditches, allowing the drains to function as intended. If a drain is blocked, the rain rushing across the landscape will have nowhere to drain, causing flooding.

If you are planning on doing yardwork, be sure to blow any grass clippings or leaves back onto your property and away from roadways where they can potentially wash into storm drains. Be sure to periodically check storm drains around your property to ensure they are not blocked.

Taking time to understand how water flows across your yard is helpful to put tools in place that can reduce community flooding. Important things to note include roof downspouts, gullies or ditches from soil erosion and slope of the land. This will help you to identify where stormwater runoff is collecting or where it might be flowing in your yard during a storm event.

Rain barrels can capture runoff from your roof, as well as rain gardens can help slow water down as it rushes across your yard, allowing it to infiltrate into the ground rather than contribute to flooding.

If you do happen to notice sources of pollution or blockages around storm drains, or even potential sewer line breaks, be sure to notify city officials. There is an online pollution reporting tool that can be found on the city of Florence website. It is an anonymous reporting tool that ensures a quick response to the problem reported. It is always helpful to have extra sets of eyes around the city helping to protect our water resources!

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.

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