GEORGETOWN, ST (SC) -Georgetown County is preparing for potentially devastating flooding in the next few days.
On Sunday afternoon, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and the National Guard worked together to install an “Aqua-Dam.” It looks like a giant tube filled with water that rises to about three or four feet above the highway.
“We expect to be working over the next 24 to 36 hours to get this job complete,” SCDOT Deputy Secretary of Engineering, Leland Colvin, said.
The Aqua-Dam is going in several places along Highway 17 near the Waccamaw River Bridge. It’s the first time SCDOT has used this type of Aqua-Dam but partnered with experts to make sure it gets set up correctly. However, it is expected to be only a temporary fix.
“We do expect, based on the current forecasts, for water to rise above the barriers,” Colvin added. “But the plan is to save this lifetime in and out of the Waccamaw Neck and the City of Georgetown as long as possible.”
Secretary of Transportation, Christy Hall, and Representative Carl Anderson toured around the area to get a look at the progress.
“We believe there will be a point in time where we will have to close U.S. 17,” Hall said. “So the operations you see behind us are basically trying to gain us more time.”
Some areas of Highway 17 near Georgetown are down to one lane of travel in each direction and officials are expecting a traffic back up as the week begins. They ask those driving in the area to be careful as crews work on the side of the highway.