Edgefield County, SC (WJBF)- In early July, a flash flood took out the only road in and out of the Mill Creek Plantation subdivision.
Residents of the neighborhood have been using an access road built after their road washed out. They said that the gravel road brings its own set of problems.
Billy Herron is a resident of Mill Creek Plantation. He said that the road is the neighborhood’s lifeline, but that it is also dangerous.
“Yeah, there’s been several people run off the road. I’ve been run off the road once. I’m not sure who they are. I didn’t recognize the vehicles, but that is hunting land. It’s Sumter National Forrest. I don’t know who all uses that land but it is tough on the people that live here to have to get in and out that way,” said Herron.
According to the neighborhood Facebook page, nine tires have blown on the gravel road, stranding residents. Herron said he lost two, bringing the total to eleven.
“I know cars have a hard time with that gravel, especially little cars. There were nine of them, I think, maybe ten that had tires get blown out because of that. The tires I had are $240 apiece. That gravel…it’s a long drive down that gravel road, but we got to deal with it,” said Herron.
Edgefield County Emergency Management Director Suzy Spurgeon has been involved since the beginning. She said that the state declared the washout an emergency, which helped to speed up the process of fixing the road. It also gives the county funds from the state towards the cost of repair.
“One of the other things we did was we worked with the DOT and their pre-approved contractors and sending the bids out to them so that we didn’t have to vet all the contractors. Those were contractors that were already vetted,” Spurgeoun explained.
Despite the issues with the gravel road, Herron says that he is grateful for all of the hard work being done on the neighborhood’s behalf.
“Suzy with Edgefield Emergency Management. She’s been great. We’re glad to have her. We’re hoping as soon as they can to get a bridge or access finished back on the main road, because the dirt road is starting to wash out,” Herron said.
The culvert project has been awarded to Tri-Star Contractors Inc. for just over $400,000. A notice to proceed will be issued and work is expected to begin in the next few weeks.