Tybee Island officials studying tidal flooding

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 5:31 PM EST
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - After last weekend’s heavy rainfall and king tides, several roads on Tybee Island saw flooding and some people even had water coming into their homes.

Tybee City Manager Shawn Gillen says this is one of the strongest king tide cycles they’ve seen in five years.

Over the last year, Gillen says the city has been working with UGA on island resiliency. The ‘Back River Study’ is what it’s called. The study looks at ways to prevent flooding from the back side of the island in order to protect the low-lying areas.

Gillen says all the areas that saw the most flooding, after the weekend, were the areas they expected. This includes several roads and homes near the marsh. For the last year, finding ways to keep this from happening has been one of the city’s main priorities.

Gillen says the study they’re doing looks into a variety of preventative measures including both gray and green infrastructure that’ll give standing water a place to go other than in peoples’ homes. Gillen says the study should give them definitive plans for projects they can start working on by the spring. In the meantime, the city has worked on other preventative projects.

“That is looking at, how do we prevent flooding up from the back side? How do we protect these low-lying homes? We also have the FEMA grant where we’re raising homes and then we’ve been defending the island from the front end with dunes and new beach renourishments,” Gillen said.

One of the roads closed last week was Highway 80. Gillen says because they raised the highway a few years ago, it was only closed for about an hour. If they hadn’t done the project, he says, the road would’ve been closed for several days.

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