Dorchester County residents traveling by boat following Edisto River flooding

Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:29 PM EST
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Areas remain flooded in Dorchester County leaving people unable to drive to their homes.

Residents who live off of Happiness Lane in Ridgeville must take a boat to get to and from their homes. The area is next to the Edisto River.

Residents estimate there’s up to about four feet of flooding in the road.

Dorchester County officials said the Edisto River is a Major Flood Stage. That means it’s an area prone to extensive flooding with some low-lying areas being inundated with water. The river is currently in a moderate flood stage.

Minor flooding occurred for several weeks and the river crest over the weekend, according to county officials. The say water levels are expected to slowly drop this week, but will remain at some level of flood stage for several weeks.

County officials say some roads near the Edisto River remain closed due to the flooding. They say this is primarily due to elevated river levels from rainfall further inland coupled with more than 10 inches of rainfall in parts of the county within the last month.

On Monday, Donald Sweat went to go check on his property and a home he has on Happiness Lane. He was seeing it for the first time on Monday. He said the water did not enter his home like it did last year.

“It’s not as bad as it has been, could be worse,” Sweat said. “Thank God it’s to where it’s not a danger for anybody to go down here.”

However, Sweat cautions people from going in the river because of the rough currents.

Dorchester County resident Clete Brewer has been taking his boat to get to and from home.

“It’s kind of expected, not necessarily this high, but normally expected,” Brewer said.

He says it’s one of the impacts of living near the river.

“We take the good with the bad, it’s good when it’s good and it’s bad when it’s bad and that’s what is,” Brewer said.

Sweat agrees and says it’s just something they know they’re going to experience.

“We have to deal with it, go with the flow,” Sweat said.

Brewer says the water did not go into his home because it’s elevated. He says while he doesn’t believe there are solutions to the flooding, he would like to seen some road improvements.

“The road is really low and it has gotten lower and lower over the years from the road grader going across it,” Brewer said. “So as far as the road goes there could definitely be some improvements.”

Dorchester County officials say the river crest over the week at 15.12 feet. The say in 2015, the river crest at 16.06, which was the fourth highest ever recorded. The river reaches at least moderate flood stage every 1-3 years.

Dorchester County leaders say there have been no calls for service directly related to flooding. Dorchester County Fire and Rescue has a high water apparatus and water rescue assets prepositioned for rapid deployment if needed.

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