Eutawville Rescue

This residence was among those that the Eutawville Fire Department reached by boat on Monday evening, encouraging its occupants to seek higher ground. The department helped a family of three get to a family member’s home.

MARTHA ROSE BROWN/T&D

Eutawville firefighters brought a family of three to safety Monday evening when their home nearly flooded.

On Snowberry Lane and Sikes Drive, just off Branchdale Highway, eight firefighters assisted with efforts to evacuate residents threatened by floodwaters.

“At one point, it measured 7 feet deep,” Eutawville Fire Chief Stephen Shuler said.

Heavy downpours overflowed a drainage ditch, causing rising waters to threaten several homes in the area.

“We performed wellness checks on the residents of the affected houses,” Shuler said.

He estimates that about 10 to 12 residents were affected by the rising waters.

Firefighters encouraged the residents to evacuate and offered to take them across the water if they wanted to leave.

A man, woman and girl in one household decided to take the offer by firefighters. They grabbed some extra clothes and boarded the boats floating at their door.

The family found shelter with relatives on Skimmer Court, about one block away on the opposite side of Branchdale Highway.

The other families remained in their homes.

“We anticipate more flooding, even though the rain’s slacked off,” Shuler said.

Shuler encourages citizens to avoid driving through flooded roads, especially if it isn’t certain how deep the water is in those areas.

Shuler said on Tuesday that crews have assisted several motorists who became stranded when they attempted to drive through a flooded area of Porcher Avenue, Eutawville’s main thoroughfare.

Firefighters and emergency crews have also assisted numerous drivers who got bogged down at the intersection of Sandspoint Street and Old Number Six Highway.

“It looked like a parking lot we had so many cars on the side of the road there,” Shuler said.

At 4630 Old State Road, a cemetery continues to soak up water from the flood.

The Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office is continuing to monitor the cemetery at Mt. Olive AME Church, a few miles from Holly Hill, for gravesites that are being compromised due to floodwaters.

The Coroner’s Office removed one casket from that cemetery on Sunday, along with three other caskets that floated in other cemeteries in the eastern region of Orangeburg County.

The Coroner’s Office is holding the caskets until the water table decreases and is suitable for reinterring the caskets.

A man walked over to two gravesites at Mt. Olive AME Church around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“That’s where my wife’s buried and this is my brother’s grave,” he said as he stood at their graves which were covered by about 2 to 3 inches of water.

“I just had to come check on them,” the unidentified man said.

Over in Elloree, several of the Elloree Water System customers were without service for most of Tuesday.

At 1 a.m., crews with the Elloree Water System shut off a valve on a water main due to a weakened joint in the system, said EWS Commission Chairman Jane Singh.

It is not known how many customers were impacted by the water service outage.

Singh said a preliminary assessment indicated that the earth may have shifted during the heavy rains, which resulted in the weakening of a joint.

The Elloree Water System may be reached at 803-897-1066.

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545 Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD

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Crime Reporter

Martha Rose Brown covers crime and other topics. The South Carolina native has been a journalist for the past 15 years.

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