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Flooding reports span county

Posted: July 9, 2013 5:59 p.m.
Updated: July 10, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Photos courtesy of Kathryn Jones/

...and on Monday, after the weekend's heavy rains.

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Once again, the water levels at Lake Wateree have been higher than normal. Beginning Friday, Duke Energy began releasing updates on the situation. Duke Energy first said that the lake level was not expected to exceed 100 feet, but the number changed rapidly and Duke now says the lake level is not expected to exceed 102.5 feet. Though Duke does not expect the levels to exceed that amount, it does expect it to stay around 102 feet for at least several days due to a rainy forecast for the remainder of the week as well as the basin’s already high levels. As of Tuesday, the water level stood at 101.9 feet, almost 5 feet above the target level of 97 feet.

“Friday, our home’s dock was completely visible. Today you can’t even get to the end of it,” Lake Wateree homeowner Kathryn Jones said Monday.

While the widespread rainfall over the past couple of weeks has influenced the water levels at Lake Wateree and on the Wateree River, it has also affected the homes and yards of those in the Camden and Lugoff areas. Several homeowners from both sides of the river reported backyards turned into ponds, overflowed ditches and drainage systems. Homeowners on Bateman Boulevard off Dicey Creek Road near Camden reported that a ditch between two properties had overflowed causing an almost acre-wide pond across their yard. Though the homes are connected to city water and electric, Camden Deputy Public Works Director Sam Davis said that since the properties are outside the city limits, it’s not in the city’s jurisdiction and instead falls to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

“There’s just no where for this water to go,” Kershaw County Public Works Director Dana Reeder added.

Residents of Woodland Circle in Lugoff reported not only flooding of their yard but also property damage. Carter Brown and Christine Markus said they believe the flooding and damage done to their property to be a result of runoff from the county’s drainage system across the street from their home.

Brown said the county cleaned the drain out but will not pay for the property damage even though they have in the past. Brown also said that this isn’t the first time his property has been flooded as a result of the drain. He said they have been having issues since 2004 and his garage as well as under his home has been flooded in the past with the county having to pay for repairs and also to clean out mold.

“This is the third time this has happened,” Brown said. “We’ve called and written letters but they basically just tell us they will fix the drain when they get around to it.”

Brown described his yard as resembling a pond complete with mosquitoes.

“They have not fixed the actual problem,” Brown said. “Just occasional little band-aid fixes.”

“It’s a difficult issue,” Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter said. “Answering who is responsible for this is a complicated answer.”

Carpenter said it is difficult to tell who is responsible for incidents such as this due to the number of different aspects involved and the fact that the water may start in one place but end up somewhere else.

“As homeowners they need an easy answer, but we can’t give them an easy answer,” Carpenter said. “We’re trying to get it resolved and work things with our insurance.”

According to Duke, water levels are constantly monitored 24 hours a day. Duke encourages those living along lakes, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone areas to pay special attention to changing weather conditions and take any necessary precautions. For more information on the lake levels visit www.duke-energy.com.

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