BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Berkeley County councilmembers are taking action to clean up a major waterway that’s causing homes to flood.
Berkeley County councilmember Tommy Newell says he’s working with the county to present an application to the Army Corps of Engineers to remove vegetation and sediment in the Limehouse Branch.
The removal would go all the way to the College Park Road Bridge in Ladson.
Newell says vegetation is part of the issue that causes flooding for neighborhoods near the canal.
“Once that water hits the swamp where there’s debris like car bumpers, basketballs, trash, it creates a dam effect,” said Newell. “When it slows the water down, the silt builds, and when the silt builds up the canal is no longer deep enough, and it exacerbates the problem.”
Berkeley County Road & Bridges employees have been making improvements to the channel and they clean out trash from the branch, but councilmembers say they need to work with the corps of engineers to do more.
When the branch overflows, it creates issues with flooding for many people who live near the bridge.
“There’s a lot of people that have been having issues with this and it’s been ongoing,” said Berkeley County Councilman Brandon Cox. “One of the biggest concerns we both have is safety and when [the branch] floods you can’t get out of that neighborhood.”
Tommy Maw has lived near the Limehouse Branch on Oxford Roadsince 1986. He says he has experienced serious flooding at least five times.
Maw believes the issues have happened as a result of lack of maintenance to the branch, and people driving pick-up trucks through his flooded street. He says the water pushed from the trucks get closer to his home.
Many people living near the Oxford Street bridge say they have also experienced flooding almost every time there’s heavy rain.
Ben Ramsey’s property has been flooded about 8 or 9 times. He says this issue has been going on for a long time, but the county hasn’t done anything about it.
“Every time somebody mentions the flood, they say,'Oh we’re doing a study, doing a study.' That’s all we get," Ramsey said.
Council members say they are a week away from presenting the application to the Army Corps of Engineers, and they are in the process of developing an emergency exit road out of the neighborhood during flooding.