Clarks Hill, SC (WJBF)- The heavy storms that rolled through the CSRA had major effects. Officials say a road collapsed because of those storms.
A section of Mill Creek Drive in Clark’s Hill collapsed after rushing waters weakened the road. This road is the only way in and out of the neighborhood.
Residents of Mill Creek Plantation stood on either side of the road and watched as it collapsed. Some people couldn’t get back to their homes for several days. One family had middle school children at home while the parents were on the other side of the collapse. We talked to one family who saw it all happen.
“Scary and cool at the same time. It felt like we were trapped,” said Jayden DeVito, a resident at Mill Creek Plantation.
“Like being on an island,” said Ayanna DeVito, his younger sister.
The county worked with the Forestry Service and private land owners and constructed an alternate road into the neighborhood. It took more than two days and many people have concerns.
“The biggest thing is there is a concrete bridge on that logging road and it’s pretty much dammed up on either side. What we’ve been told is they are supposed to be clearing that out, but even if they clear it out, if we have heavy rain its gonna go over that bridge and cars are not going to be able to go across there,” said Dianna Jarriel, another resident.
Because of the narrow back roads, parents are concerned about whether buses will be able to get into the neighborhood to pick children up from school. 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.
“There are certain parts of it that you can’t pass each other. I mean, parts that you can’t pass and you can see oncoming traffic and you can wait for them to get by or they can wait for you to get by,” Roy Jarriel, her husband, said.
Edgefield County Administrator Tommy Paradise says they investigated the cause of the washout and they have ruled out a dam collapse. He says that it was a flash flood.
“Basically we had seven to twelve inches of rain and a short amount of time and that is what caused the problem,” said Paradise.
Paradise says that the county is working closely with the state and that for the county, getting the road repaired is a priority. There is a meeting Tuesday to discuss how to move forward.
“On the agenda they’ll be talking about declaring it an emergency and also appropriating funds. We’re fortunate that they have funds available that we may be able to use for this. And if they do that, they declare it an emergency, under the state procurement case there’s some alternatives that may allow for a more rapid bidding process than normal,” Paradise said.
Mill Creek Plantation residents say they have been told that it could be up to a year before the road is repaired. The County declines to comment on a timeline.