Market St. flooding: City vendors say it's improving

Market St. flooding: City vendors say it's improving

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - With the chance of up to four inches of rain, flooding is a concern in spots like Market Street in downtown Charleston, which has already seen a lot of standing water this year.

Vendor Gretchen Waltemire has waded through flood water many times in her 32 years at city market. She says she just goes with the flow.

"You have to have your plan in your head about what will I do if it floods. I'll do this, this, and this."

Waltemire says despite the dramatic scene last summer of kayaks down Market Street, she says improvements have been made. Right now, the city is in phase two of the $2.7 million Market Street drainage project. The multi-million dollar goal is to prevent deep flooding.

"Flooding is difficult," Waltemire says. "It is not as bad as the old days. Back in the 80s, it used to flood really deep. It used to flood as tall as the tabletops in the 80s, and the city worked for all those years in improving the drainage, and every time they do something it does help."

Across the street at Rainbow Market, shops are also prepared to protect their goods. Palmettoville has a stock of several sandbags ready-to-go.

"I actually haven't done it personally, put it out and everything, but they've showed me how to do it if it needs to be done," says Katherine Roach, a sales associate.

The Market Street project is moving slower than expected as crews dig deeper to avoid an abandoned sewer tunnel full of water. The city has pushed back the date phase two will be completed from January to August 2014.

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