CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The operators of the cemetery where flooding from heavy rains popped open grave vaults and exposed 10 caskets say they aren’t responsible for fixing the graves.
The damaged graves were reported Sunday at Monrovia Cemetery in downtown Charleston.
“This is horrible coming to see your family under water and casket lifted up over the grave like this,” Rosa Mais, who has family buried in the cemetery, said.
South Carolina law says the cemetery is supposed to report exposed graves to the county coroner, but the Charleston County Coroner’s Office says they cemetery hasn’t reported these floating vaults, yet.
Some of the emotional family members said the way this situation is being treated is heartbreaking.
“I want to move her," Jamaria Myers, who also has loved ones buried in the cemetery said. "I asked if I can. They said, ‘You would disturb her peace,’ but technically shes already out of the ground.”
A man who answered the phone at the cemetery office said an act of God caused this, so “God is responsible” for fixing the damaged graves. The man, who would not give his name, also said the loved ones shouldn’t be worried because these people are dead and do not have a voice, so why should it matter?
“They’re going to reap what they sow, because they’re gonna have family and things will happen to them like this," Mais said. "What goes around comes around.”
South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation spokesperson Leisa Kudelka said the cemetery’s owner needed to secure the caskets and alert the county coroner. When the water recedes, the cemetery should reinter the caskets.