Summerville flooding has neighbors begging for the county’s help

VIDEO: Summerville flooding has neighbors begging for the county’s help

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Some areas of Summerville saw up to four feet of water in some neighborhoods as floodwaters spread across the Lowcountry Friday, turning roadways into rivers and yards into lakes.

The Clemson Terrace neighborhood in Summerville saw quick-rising water Friday as the storms came through Dorchester County. Many of the roads were covered in water and dozens of yards were full of water overflowing from their front ditches.

One homeowner says this kind of flooding does happen often, but only as of the last five years. Richard Rheland says he has been begging Dorchester County crews to do something about the high water.

“Just come out here drive through, look at the Christmas lights and look at the flooding, oh and bring a small boat,” Rheland says.

Summerville homeowners say that what you see here shouldn’t be normal, but in recent years, high water with passing storms and showers has been happening more and more often.

“It’s just awful, an awful experience, terrible, ongoing all the time, not just in a hurricane, it’s a nightmare,” Veda Courtney, a Clemson Terrace homeowner, says.

One man has even started taking on the flooding himself by raking out his ditches and installing homemade pumps to keep the water flowing through his yard. His wife says cleaning the ditches shouldn’t be up to them.

“The county doesn’t drain the ditches but once a year, it’s awful” Courtney says.

Rheland says he’s already spent money to repair his home when the Thousand-Year Flood came through the Lowcountry in 2015, and now he says he’s watching the water get closer and closer with every storm yet again.

“I’ve spent ten thousand dollars having my house repaired from the thousand-year flood,” Rheland says.

Several neighbors say they are considering selling their homes to get away from the hardship the flooding causes but say that is easier said than done.

“Under the law I have to claim all this to someone who wants to buy my place, it wouldn’t be fair to make them go through this,” Rheland says.

They say all that’s left to do is ask Dorchester County for help and just hope they come through.

Dorchester County did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether there are any plans to help alleviate flooding in the future.

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