Lowery Branch Road
By Brianna Rodgers
Hare’s Mill Pond Bridge
More photos in the print edition
Historic Rainfall Event Leaves
Parts Of County Underwater
Saluda County was effected by the weekend’s historic rain event, but did not have near the damage of Lexington or Richland counties.
The official gauges monitored by Edwin Riley at the Saluda Commission of Public Works recorded 9.88 inches during the four day period. Most of that, 7.74 inches, fell on Oct. 4. Riley said the town’s sewerage plant was flooded and a call had been made to DHEC
“Fire, EMS, Emergency Management, and Law Enforcement worked numerous calls associated with the weather, ranging from flooding to downed trees and powerlines as well as several motor vehicle accidents,” Saluda County Emergency Management Director Josh Morton said. “Saturday night was by far the heaviest time for emergency response.”
More than a dozen state roads have been closed during this event.
“Any bridges that are closed will remain closed until bridge inspectors are available to ensure their stability, as we did have a great deal of water and debris coming down our waterways,” Morton said. “Several county roads are closed, some of which sustained severe damage during the event. The bridge on Spann Road at Hares Mill Pond experienced a failure and will be closed until repaired.
“SCDOT and Saluda County Roads and Bridges are working extremely hard to get our roads repaired and back open, but we want to remind everyone to please be cautious as there may be damage that we are not yet aware of.
“If you do come across a damaged section of road, please notify SCDOT or Saluda County immediately.
“We also want to remind everyone that the barricades are in place for a reason. Please do not move or drive around them. They are for your safety. By entering sections of road that are closed you are putting not only yourself at risk, but also the responders who might have to rescue you.
“We have obviously been very fortunate to have not experienced the level of flooding experienced in other parts of the state. However, we did experience flooding in some areas and, as a result, we do have damage from this event“ Morton said.
Anyone whose home was damaged during this event is asked to report this damage to the Saluda County Emergency Management Division at (864) 445-2529.
There reports of roofs collapsing, basements flooding, and power outages.
St. Paul United Methodist Church suffered extensive water in the basement, which contains offices, Sunday School Classes and storage. Up to four-inches of water was measured in some sections of the building.
The docks and gasoline dock at Big Man’s Marina were all washed away.
Power company crews were in Saluda County Monday in anticipation of power outages, due to wet grounds and strong winds causing trees to fall.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges boaters in the Palmetto State to reconsider getting on the water due to potential flash flooding and otherwise swift water conditions.
Many lakes and other waterways are flooded with runoff and debris from the recent strong storms. Debris such as damaged tree limbs and partially submerged logs are being washed into the various waterways around the state, which can be extremely hazardous to boating enthusiasts and anglers. The problem for most boaters is they don’t see how big the danger is. They may be looking at a small twig on the top of the water, but the limb could be several feet larger, heavier and wider just below the water’s surface.
If boaters must be on the water, then stay alert for rapidly changing water and weather conditions. The most important thing to remember is to wear a life jacket at all times when boating under these conditions.
Flooded rivers and streams with moving currents present some of the most dangerous situations a boater can encounter.
Fast moving water can easily capsize or flip a boat—or personal watercraft—especially when combined with fixed objects such as trees and buildings. Boaters should avoid any operations in these swift flowing waters.
Had Saluda County Connections
The Department of Transportation worker who died in Columbia’s floods had Saluda County connections.
Timothy Wayne Gibson, 45, was the son of Saluda County native David Gibson and grandson of the late, Harold and Lucille Gibson.
Gibson died in flood waters on Garners Ferry Road on Sunday while overseeing work.
Transportation officials said Gibson was with the agency’s Richland Maintenance Unit and was traveling in a truck that was caught in rushing waters, overturned and was swept away.
An autopsy was scheduled Monday.