Parts of northern Horry County are already seeing unprecedented flooding as the Waccamaw River continues to rise.
Highway 9 is currently closed off approximately 1.5 miles away from where it intersects with Highway 57 because of significant flooding that has already inundated homes and businesses on Highway 9. Much of the road is also covered in flood waters.
Jason Barett owns Atlantic Fence Company which is located on Highway 9. His office is currently partially submerged in flood water. He stopped by the office on Friday with two of his employees. They had to use a surfboard to paddle through the flood water in order to reach the building and retrieve essential items.
When Barett visited the office on Wednesday he said the flooding was about 2 feet high. On Friday, Barett, who is 6 foot 4 inches, said the water had reached up to his chest.
“It’s been 20 years and we’ve never had water this high. This is a little much. A little much to comprehend right now. It’s crazy,” said Barett.
The flooding is also spilling into nearby neighborhoods. Many roads in the Sun Colony subdivision off off Highway 9 are covered in water. Jason Schmidt has lived in the subdivision for four years and said the roads have never been flooded like they are now. He said he’s seen most of the flood water bubbling up and out of drainage pipes in the neighborhood.
According to Schmidt, Horry County firefighters visited the neighborhood earlier in the week and encouraged residents to safeguard their homes and evacuate. On Friday, many of the homes were boarded up with sandbags bordering them. They also seemed empty.
Schmidt and his family fled to Florida last week ahead of Hurricane Florence. They came back this week and only spent one day in their home before they started preparing to evacuate again ahead of the flooding.
“None of us planned on any of this or expected any of this. We thought the worst was over. Like, alright, we got through the hurricane. We’re back, we can go home. And then it’s packing everything back up and throwing it up again,” he said.