Heavy rains saturate one Summerville subdivision

By Sheldon Dutes  bio | email | Twitter 

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - People who live in the back of the Trotter's Ridge subdivision were better off using an arc to navigate their cul de sac Monday afternoon.

As a result of the heavy rain, Tom Thurman's lawn was submerged under storm water from a sewer drain and water from a nearby creek.

Thurman has lived in Trotter's Ridge for the past 10 years, and it's not the first time he's had to wade through his front yard.

"It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's a mess," Thurman said.

Whenever there is substantial rainfall, Thurman's cul de sac floods with a murky combination of a bubbling sewer drain water and water from the creek behind his house.

In addition to creating a mess, there's also the threat of potential diseases. Not to mention the putrid smell that lingers in the air.

"If you've ever smelled a baby diaper pail, it smells like that," Thurman said.

Part of Thurman's backyard was saturated with up to four feet of the opaque mess, and his garage was no exception. There was at least a foot of water damaging his personal belongings.

According to Thurman the last time something like this happened, he spent $1,000 replacing items and cleaning up.

"When you have that much money-your life investments-into a piece of property and you're standing in a foot of water, it's just sad," Thurman said.

Shortly after the rain stopped, Dorchester County Public Works was on the scene trying to pump out the dirty water. But for residents like James Wiggins, it was too little too late.

"We're in the Lowcountry and we have water, but the sewage problem is what's so bad. The smell, the floating up under our homes. Our kids are out here running around," Wiggins said.

There's no official word on what's causing the sporadic flooding, but some residents think it may be the depth of the creek and issues with the sewer drains.

According to Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward, the back of the neighborhood sits in an area that's prone to flooding. Because of the heavy rain on Monday nearby Rumsfeld Creek exceeded its border, which then spilled into the neighborhood. Ward also said, the liquid gushing up through the manholes was storm water.

According to some residents, the Department Of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) treated their lawns the last time this happened.

In the mean time, residents like Thurman will be working to salvage whatever they can.

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