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Goose Creek sets up email address seeking flooding information

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) – The city of Goose Creek has set up an email address to hear from homeowners affected by this weekend’s flooding.

The email address – report@cityofgoosecreek.com – was set up Monday, Mayor Greg Habib said.

Residents can submit their address, photos and a description of what they experienced when heavy rains moved through on Saturday. The city plans to use that information to map out the worst spots and see what improvements can be made.

“It may be that we identify yes, there are some places where the ditch did not work properly, the drainage system did not work as well as it could have, and yes, there may be a need for greater drainage maintenance. I suspect that we may find some of that,” Habib said, adding the city has already found one spot where beavers built a dam that held back the water.

Stormwater systems in the area are designed to be able to handle up to six inches of rain in a day, he added. Instead, that much fell in a matter of a couple hours.

“I believe what we’ll find the biggest factor in the flooding was six-and-a-half inches in less than two hours, and I’m not sure there’s a system that would have handled that, but we’re not going to just assume that,” Habib said, adding there may be some spots where the drainage system is not working as it should.

One such area was quickly identified; beavers built a dam across a waterway that slowed drainage.

The city has an agreement with Berkeley County that sees the county handle stormwater issues because, as Habib put it, water doesn’t know the lines between the city and the county. Officials quickly opened drain valves as the rain fell, but that wasn’t enough to avoid issues.

“What we found for the most part is as our folks went around – and we were out in the rain looking at things – is that for the most part, all of the stormwater systems were operating properly. They were just overwhelmed,” he said.

The open valve led the ditch next to Carlene Young’s home to fill quickly and spill into her home. She said it’s not the first time she’s had issues with it.

“When we do have just a heavy rain, the water coming down, it goes right to the top of the ditch level. Right to the top,” she said.

“We see debris that washes up often when we have heavy rains, and that debris backs up the water” she added.

Other residents in the area told Live 5 News they also want to see fixes.

While change won’t happen overnight, Habib said city and county officials are already compiling notes to see what can be done.

“We’ll bring all that together with what the citizens send us, we’ll investigate it and see what we can figure out,” he said.

Officials plan to gather next week to review the initial information and start looking at next steps.

Live 5 News reached out to Berkeley County for an interview for this story; that message was not returned as of Monday evening.

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