Officials respond to Trotter's Ridge flooding

By Sheldon Dutes  bio | email | Twitter 

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The murky water left over from Monday's torrential rainfall has disappeared, but residents in the Trotter's Ridge neighborhood are already nervous for the next time it rains.

On Monday afternoon, Tom Thurman's garage and backyard were submerged under approximately four feet of the cloudy flood water. In the days since the flooding, he and his wife have been meeting an insurance agent to assess their damage property.

"We don't know if we're going to get any money from that, but we're kind of waiting for that to see what happens," Thurman said. "We've got family and friends coming tomorrow to get the rest of the property cleaned up."

The cause of Thurman's headache could be in his backyard. According to Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward, nearby Rumphs Hill Creek could be to blame for the flooding.

"The fact of the matter is when you have an event that has that much water there's just not enough capacity in the creek to contain it," Ward said.

Ward also said Thurman's cul de sac is in an area that's prone to flooding. Thurman's home and his neighbors' houses were built between 2000 and 2002- before Dorchester County prohibited construction in flood-prone areas.

"The regulations of not allowing people to build in the floodway came around in 2006. Unfortunately, in this situation, they were allowed to build in that area, but now we take active steps to not allow that kind of construction to happen," said Kristen Champagne, Director of Dorchester County Water & Sewer.

Ward and Champagne are sympathetic to the concerns of the residents in Trotter's Ridge and have started taking steps to rectify the situation.

On Monday afternoon, Dorchester County Public Works was in the subdivision pumping out the dirty water. In the days since the flooding, the county has offered to sanitize areas that were affected and they plan to evaluate the are for future improvements.

"We do have people who will be back in the community and we will evaluate the situation further to determine if we can approve draining in that area," Ward said.

In a written statement the county said they didn't have any problems with their sewer system, but would use a video camera to fully assess everything.

The water that flooded the Trotter's Ridge subdivision did not contain raw sewage, according to county officials.

The county took samples and sent them to the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Some fecal matter was found in the water, but the county says that's normal in any runoff water.

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