Prominent backer returns to SC to support flood activists in Horry County – Charleston Post Courier

A excellent donor On the earth of local climate advertaptation returned to South Carolina To assist …….

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A excellent donor On the earth of local climate advertaptation returned to South Carolina To assist A gaggle of flood safety advertvocates Inside the Myrtle Seashore space. 

Jay Faison, a Charlotte tech entrepreneur with a historic previous in Republican politics, has been involved in South Carolina earlier than, notably advertvocating for a flood wall alongside weak Lockwood Drive in downtown Charleston.

He was advertditionally a primary funder of Charleston’s Dutch Dialogues investigation into The biggest Method to make the area extra resilient to flooding and sea-diploma rise.

This yr, A mannequin new group Faison based referred to as Flood Defenders quietly assisted behind the scenes as native advertvocates in Horry County pushed for greater flood safetys there. 

The county is laced with rivers and waterways that overflowed into a quantity of houses after current hurricanes. April O’Leary, Founding father of nonprofit Horry County Rising, noticed her Personal residence in Conway flood after 2018’s Hurricane Florence.

So she Acquired Proper down to get three primary gadgets advertded to native flood safety guidelines.

O’Leary needed the county To enhance freeboard — or Guarantee new houses have been constructed greater than The extent the federal authorities mandates to primarytain away from flooding. She needed the county To raised handle the dust that builders truck in To raise houses in floodplains, Also referred to as fill, as a Outcome of that apply May set off flooding elsewhere. And she or he needed the county to base its guidelines on exact floods of the previous, not simply federal flood maps, which Might be inaccurate and shortly Discover your self to be outdated.

All three gadgets have been included into The primary primary overhaul of Horry County’s flood ordinance Since the Nineteen Eighties, handed final month.

The advertising campaign To vary flood guidelines was referred to as “Do not Construct Inside the Swamp,” and Faison’s Flood Defenders assisted by creating yard indicators and door hangers, managing e-mail outreach and doing social media work, he said. The connection was not apparent On the time and Faison declined to say how a lot money hadvert been spent by his group on The problem. 

However O’Leary, who runs Horry County Rising largely alone, said The assist was invaluable and she Desires to proceed to work with Flood Defenders.

“I mirror again on that horrible feeling I hadvert, standing in entrance of my house when it was flooded, and the grief I hadvert,” O’Leary said. “I am so joyful and proud we have been In a place To level out one factor so tragic Proper into a great factor.”

Faison said his objective is to increase the mannequin to completely different native teams Who’re pressuring politicians to advertapt their communities to extreme storms and rising seas. 

“Flood Defenders is about people That are harm by flooding,” he said. “Our mission is to assist these people to have a loud and efficient voice for flood safety.”



Jay Faison is a Charlotte businessman whose group Flood Defenders Is Concentrating on creating native political strain To restore flooding. Provided. 


It is not his first foray into this world. Faison hadvert An prolonged historic previous as a donor and assister of the Republican Celebration earlier than turning in the direction of Factors with sea rise and flooding. He chairs the American Flood Coalition, a coverage group. His basis advertditionally financially assists the First Road Foundation, A gaggle that has launched refined evaluation of how flooding is damaging coastal property.

First Road noticed some minor controversy three yrs in the past when its advertvocacy arm ran an a tv advert that consists of former state Rep. Katie Arrington with out mentioning that Arrington was a Republican candidate for Charleston’s congressional seat On The identical time. 

With Flood Defenders, Faison said his objective is to let people on The underside leadvert the cost for greater flood safety, but with Barely assist. Faison said the group Might Even be involved in future advertising campaigns in Horry County, As properly as to in Charleston.

“We’d like not Are out there and inform (advertvocates) what to do,” he said. “We now Want to return in And provides them the devices to be Simpler.” 

Attain Chloe Johnson at 843-735-9985. Adjust to her on Twitter @_ChloeAJ.