Edgefield, S.C. – At today’s special called meeting of the Edgefield County Transportation Committee, the CTC declared an emergency for Mill Creek Drive and Scenic Drive and authorized funding to repair both roads.
Mill Creek Drive and Scenic Drive were severely damaged during the flash flooding that followed as Edgefield County received between seven and nine inches of rain in the span of a few hours the morning of July 7th.
The flooding of Dry Branch took out the entire roadway at Mill Creek Drive, which forms a closed loop inside of the Mill Creek Plantation neighborhood. Neighbors were left with no county road access in and out of their community, relying on a private road to both leave and return.
Wednesday, July 8, representatives of the National Guard visited the destruction where Dry Branch rushed between the gap left in Mill Creek Drive due to the flooding and considered the possibility of installing a portable bridge but, ultimately, decided against it. Edgefield County, instead, worked with the U.S. Forest Service to build up an access road so residents could exit and enter.
While waiting for a more substantial roadway, residents told WJBF’s Kim Vickers that there is concern about whether buses will be able to get into the neighborhood to pick children up come schooltime. Others say they are worried that garbage truck can’t get in to pick up and that large package delivery trucks won’t be able to deliver.
Flash flooding along Big Branch also stranded the residents living there. Scenic Drive stems off of Deer Trail Point and connects with no other road after crossing Big Branch and has only a single access point.
Sam Crouch, CTC Chairman, said under the meeting that it was imperative to get construction done as quickly as possible and restore these two roadways for the residents that live and depend on them.
The Edgefield CTC operates separately from the county government and receives funding from the S.C. state gasoline tax and distributes those funds for both state and county road projects, allowing for emergency projects such as the road restorations at Mill Creek Drive and Scenic Drive to take place without relying on major changes to the current Edgefield County budget.
Edgefield County Administrator Tommy Paradise writes that “these actions will provide funding for the project and allow us to move faster with getting the road replacement done.”
Dedicated funding for these emergency projects comes a week after the flooding that isolated the two Edgefield neighborhoods.
As to a completion date for the new roadways along Mill Creek and Scenic Drives, Paradise said it was premature to set a deadline before engineering groundwork was started, prior to the actual constructing of the roads.
“We would rather underpromise and overachieve than the other way around,” Paradise writes.