Impact of Idalia on Charleston’s Business and Infrastructure

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Devastating Effects on Local Business

The remnants of Hurricane Idalia have left a lasting impact on the Lowcountry, particularly for downtown Charleston businesses. Kate Moon, owner of Flow State Wellness, recounts the harrowing experience of witnessing her yoga studio succumb to flooding, necessitating a complete rebuild.

Despite her efforts to fortify the studio with sandbags, the relentless waters breached the barriers, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Exposed beams, rampant mold, and the loss of substantial financial investments now plague Moon’s business.

City’s Infrastructure Initiatives

The City of Charleston has been grappling with flooding issues on Calhoun Street for years, implementing various infrastructure projects to mitigate the problem. Chief resilience officer Dale Morris highlights the significance of the Battery Wall Project, a collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers, as a potential long-term solution to rising sea levels.

The project encompasses an extension of the battery around the peninsula, the addition of walking and recreation paths, and the restoration of a nearby marsh. Morris emphasizes the multifaceted benefits of this infrastructure, including enhanced hurricane surge protection.

Business Owner’s Concerns and Plea

Moon remains apprehensive about the extended timeframe for cleanup and restoration, which could span up to six months. The suspension of classes poses financial challenges for her business, as she faces the absence of revenue without coverage for such losses.

Moon urges the city to prioritize solutions for small businesses like hers, who may lack the resources to protect themselves adequately from recurring flooding. She believes that collaboration and innovative approaches are essential to safeguarding the local community’s economic well-being.

Timeline

  • Design agreement negotiation expected by end of 2023
  • Project completion estimated within 10-12 years

Chief resilience officer Dale Morris emphasizes the “multi-benefit” nature of the Battery Wall Project, providing both flood protection and recreational amenities.

Credit and rights belong to OMG I Yoga.

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