Once in a thousand years

Bryant Street, one of the various roads in Darlington County that washed out during the storm flooding.
Courtesy of Darlington County Sheriff’s Office

Bryant Street, one of the various roads in Darlington County that washed out during the storm flooding.
Courtesy of Darlington County Sheriff’s Office

Flooding in Darlington County

By Jana E. Pye, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

Rain from Hurricane Joaquin devastated much of South Carolina October 2 – 4, and damaged many areas of Darlington County.

Reports from the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office warned motorists to TADD – Turn Around Don’t Drive – a warning that claimed the life of a young woman in Columbia that drowned as her car filled with flood waters. S.C. Highway Patrol reported three other weather related traffic fatalities.

Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, issued a statement on Sunday warning residents to stay home. “This flood disaster has been like nothing South Carolina has ever seen,” said Haley. “Estimates indicate that this type of flooding occurs only once in a thousand years.” Gov. Haley also warned residents of the dangers of the water. “It’s not something to be out taking pictures of,” she said. “This is not something you want your kids playing in. The water is not safe.”

The City of Darlington’s administration office on Pearl Street sustained major damage when one of the two chimneys collapsed directly above the Mayor’s office on the second floor (formerly David Vaughan’s office for Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association), causing leaking from the ceiling. City employees were working from the Fire Department office on Monday.

Lisa Rock, City Planner for Darlington, said that remarkably no trees are down in city limits except for on C Avenue. “If people see limbs hanging or down, report the damage, and don’t try to move it.”

Rock urged residents to call 911 for emergencies, and call 843-758-1127 for other issues and for after-hours issues with tree issues, water and sewer services.
Rock also noted that the Chalmers Street “Ditch” is still flowing well, and the putrid smell has not returned.

Nearby Sumter has issued a warning for residents to boil water before consumption, but that precaution has not been issued for Darlington County as of Monday.

South Carolina Highway Department released on Monday that 70 miles of I-95 were closed due to flooding. The South Carolina Department of Transportation closed a section of the highway between the I-20 and I-26 interchanges Sunday due to flooding from storms.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation urged motorists to stay off the roads, and social media was abuzz with photographs of washed out roads.
Historic rainfall and flooding closed hundreds of state roads and bridges on Sunday, according to SCDOT.

S.C. Department of Transportation closed hundreds of state roads and bridges on Sunday.

Acting SCDOT Secretary Christy A. Hall said, “The average vehicle can be swept away in as a little as 12 inches of moving water and stalled out in as little as two feet of water.”

As of press time on Monday, October 5:

Darlington County School District closed schools for Monday, October 5. As of press time,

Roads washed out:
Law Plantation Road: All lanes blocked due to road washout October 3 – October 17.
Lawson Road: both lanes were flooded October 3 – 5.

Duke Energy reports:
According to Charles Ellison, Senior Communications Consultant from Robinson Nuclear Plant, the Duke Energy nuclear power plant on Lake Robinson in Hartsville is not in any danger. “The recent extreme weather has raised concerns regarding lake levels and dam stability in S.C. There are no concerns regarding the dam at Lake Robinson. Duke Energy continues to monitor the dam,” said Ellison. “Lake levels are being managed in accordance with regulatory requirements through the controlled release of water. We are working closely with local emergency management officials to ensure everyone is prepared and aware of the situation.”

The public can find travel information such as road conditions on the SCDOT web site: www.scdot.org

Author: Duane Childers

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