Concerns over rising Edisto River, residents urged to evacuate
DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Authorities in Dorchester and Colleton counties are urging folks who live near the Edisto River to evacuate their homes.
The river is forecasted to rise to record levels, making it very dangerous to stick around, officials say.
Floodwaters covered the entire parking lot of Givhans State Park Tuesday. The river is expected to climb to 16.8 feet by Sunday. Flood stage is at 10 feet.
Park ranger Rick Robertson said the river is off limits to park visitors because the current is just too swift.
"Very dangerous, very swift current, very treacherous conditions, and we're advising everybody to stay away from the river," Robertson said.
That didn't stop one man from riding in the river on his wave runner.
William Rutland said he was looking for folks who needed help leaving their homes but got no takers.
"Most people are still in their homes. Really, that says a lot," Rutland said. "It startled me. The water's up to their doorstep and they're still home."
We got a closeup look at the rising river and the homes that are right in the path of the floodwaters.
A couple checking up on their relative's house gave us a ride in their pickup truck down flooded Hideaway Drive.
Their loved one's home was surrounded by water.
Just down the street some folks were trying to save whatever they could. Markie Leonard tried to help out her friend.
"It's pretty wet I guess you can say. I mean all the shed is flooded and i don't know, just trying to make the best of it," Leonard said.
Dorchester County Emergency Management crews are asking that people evacuate now. The river is expected to rise, and that may mean roads may become inaccessible.
There is a shelter set up at Summerville High School for those affected.
In Cottageville, Jericho United Methodist Church at 1901 Pierce Road is opened as a shelter. Pets are not permitted there.
Those with questions in Dorchester County can call their Emergency Management Department's call center at 843-832-0393 or 843-563-0393.
Colleton County Emergency Preparedness can be called at 843-549-5632.
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