Shops clean up after flood, mayor says plans will fix problems

Shops clean up after flood, mayor says plans will fix problems

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - From the Crosstown, Market Street, Rutledge Avenue, and even West Ashley, several areas of Charleston were underwater Tuesday.

Classic Charleston Gifts and Gallery co-owner Tom Newton was hard at work cleaning up after water flooded his shop.

"It was about four inches deep in the shop. My pump, I have a pump, it didn't work. I did the best thing I could, I went home. Got here this morning at 7:30 and got rid of all the water," Newton said.

The water was so high on Market Street, people kayaked through the market. Water shut down the Crosstown and police directed people away from flooded areas West of the Ashley.

"The city has underway very substantial, unprecedented in the history of the city, very substantial construction and design of drainage improvements," Mayor Joe Riley said.

The four drainage projects under construction or in the planning phase include: The Crosstown, Market Street, Rutledge Avenue and Calhoun Street, and in West Ashley at Playground Road.

At Classic Charleston Newton spent the morning siphoning water from inside the shop, and he couldn't open the doors to customers until this afternoon.

"Didn't lose any merchandise because I took everything off the floor, but loss of business is loss of business," Newton said.

The four drainage projects throughout Charleston are all part of the city's master drainage plan. The mayor says these improvements will cost up to hundreds of millions of dollars.

The most expensive of the drainage projects is the Crosstown, costing $154 million. The city has secured all the money needed through tax dollars, the State Department of Transportation, the State Infrastructure Bank, and federal grant money. It is the only project of the four that has already started construction.

Copyright wcsc 2012. All rights reserved.