Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The One City Two Canals tour on Columbia’s Riverfront Park came with a flood update and a cool history lesson Saturday afternoon.
If you want to know anything about Riverfront Park, you ask Park Ranger Karen Swank Kustafik. When the October flood of 2015 hit this area, it breached the oldest hydro's.“That's pretty remarkable because it had been operating consistently from 1898 until October 2015” said Kustafik.
All last year they had a series of engineering tests as a part of the re-building plan. Divers were also taking pictures of the head gates that allow water to come into or out of the Columbia Canal.
During the flood there was a lot of damage to the structure of the canal, but where are they now with the re-construction?
“All of those options and what we do to fix the canal are still in the hands of engineers who are working closing with almost an alphabet soup of federal agencies” explained Kustafik.
Whenever you're generating hydroelectricity, you have to deal with the federal energy regulatory commission. If you're dealing with waterways, you go through the Army Corps and DHEC, of course, regulates water intake. In the case of Riverfront Park, these are the players too.
“I expect in the next few months that we'll be hearing a little bit more about this as those options go in front of city council” said Kustafik.
She hopes construction will start by 2019.