Berkeley Co. addresses drainage, flooding concerns in Goose Creek neighborhood

In the last weeks of July, multiple storms moving through left the Boulder Bluff and Beverly Hills neighborhoods waterlogged.
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 6:55 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2023 at 7:41 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials in Berkeley County have provided a response after people living in a Goose Creek neighborhood expressed continued problems with drainage and flooding in their yards, and sometimes homes.

In the last weeks of July, multiple storms moving through left the Boulder Bluff and Beverly Hills neighborhoods waterlogged. People living there say the issue has been growing worse for years.

Berkeley County provided a statement that explains the stormwater department response:

On July 23, Roads and Bridges received a call that flooding was occurring in the Boulder Bluff, Beverly Hills and Forest Lawn area in Goose Creek. The crews were on-site at approximately 6:00 p.m. They removed debris and blockages in ditches along Clarine Drive, Dennis Drive, Annette Drive, Stephanie Drive, Vine Street and Harvey Avenue for over 4 hours and also met with homeowners.

For one family, July wasn’t the first time they’ve been affected by the water. Their house has flooded before. But Sherry McCreary says after a few calls to the county and state, she wasn’t getting a quick or efficient response. That’s why, when the rain started on July 23rd at their house, Chris White took matters into his own hands.

I mean, that’s not my responsibility. You know, I do what I can keep the ditch cleaned,” White says.

The family has a preparation plan they have to do every time it rains. They open the gates that let water under the house instead of in, and White goes to clear out the ditch.

“I saw him in the ditch and at first I thought he was joking and, yeah, we were videoing and zoomed in and saw it, yeah, and then saw his foot hanging from his ankle and it was traumatic. It was definitely traumatic. And it’s just a shame and it makes me so mad that things aren’t being done. That shouldn’t happen,” McCreary says.

They say, White was the main source of income and now they are struggling after his surgery. He needed stitches and will have physical therapy.

“I was getting ready to get hired on with this storm drain company. They’re still waiting for me. And now I’m going to be out of work for probably, I don’t know, maybe November,” White says.

Berkeley County says crews returned to the neighborhood about a week later after more calls about drainage and flooding. The statement continues:

Even though the reported rain event was measured at over 4 to 6 inches in a short period of time, we believe most of the flooding occurred because of debris blocking crossline pipes along road crossings. The blockages ranged anywhere from limbs, leaves, trash, bags, furniture, etc. Also on July 29th, Roads & Bridges responded to flooding around 8 p.m. that was acquiring along Amy Drive. There were blockages along Lucy Drive and Water Oak Lane. Similar debris was found to be the reason for flooding. The crews were on site for over 3 hours.

McCreary says her daughter and three granddaughters are also at the house, and they fear how dangerous the drains are after White’s accident.

“They have no idea the suffering we’re going through because of this. It’s ridiculous. And I hope that somebody hears this and takes it seriously and actually does something somebody that cares,” McCreary says.

The county maintains that it regularly services its property and shares more dedicated future plans for the area.

The statement concludes:

The County routinely cuts and cleans ditches within their maintenance area, which does not include State crossline pipes along road crossing or State roadside ditches but does rely on work orders and citizens calling to make us aware of any blockages. Berkeley County takes pride in how we respond to rain events and maintain drainage systems within Goose Creek and other parts of the County.

We are in the process of hiring firms to perform drainage studies around these areas and other areas within Berkeley County that seem to be prone to flooding.

Also, we are scheduling a meeting within the next few weeks with the City of Goose Creek, SCDOT and the County to discuss what can be done moving forward to try to help alleviate the problem of flooding in the Goose Creek area.