Heavy rains downtown transform streets into swimming pools

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Heavy rain pounded downtown Charleston causing traffic to slow down and once again flooded pockets of the peninsula on Friday. Streets turned into swimming pools. Homes that couldn't see the harbor, magically, had waterfront property.

The worst part? The community is used to it.

"I've seen people with canoes riding up the street because it's easier than walking through the water that's three feet deep," says Matthew Smith.

Smith lives off President Street and says the flooding doesn't surprise him anymore.

"We have a big pond, a miniature lake," says Smith. "This happens every time it rains hard in Charleston around our house."

When Smith first moved to the area he had no idea he was getting waterfront property. He says the issue is the streets drains.

"They seem like they don't work," he says. "I don't know if they're just clogged... it seems like it drains really slow though that's for sure."

Mike Metzler of the Charleston Storm Water Division says Smith is in a problem areas. Low land, trees and litter complete a trifecta of issues that lead to clogging the drains.

Metzler says his Storm Water crews clean out drains on a daily basis except for the weekends. That leaves Smith up the street, without a paddle.

"It's a lake essentially," says Smith. "Unless you have a very tall car, I wouldn't drive around here. It's not safe and it's not even safe to really walk."

But when the rain falls, like it or not, walking is the only thing Smith is able to do.

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