NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Heavy rains over a short period of time on Friday caused flooding inside of homes at the Robbers Roost Villas community in North Myrtle Beach.
According to the city, more than eight inches of rain fell over a 24-year-hour period, prompting residents who have lived in the neighborhood for decades to report water inside their homes and city leaders to look for ways to address the flooding.
“This is the first time this has ever happened in this neighborhood since I’ve been here,” said Wanda Stedule, who has lived in Robbers Roost Villas since 2001.
The city said Saturday in a news release that it “was one of the top five rainfall events in North Myrtle Beach in the past 20 years.”
Neighbors worked together for hours to get the water out of residents’ homes and make sure everyone was OK.
“We’ve been battling wet dry vacs, towels, buckets, whatever we could to keep the water out and keep it moving,” Mick McGuire said. “We need help here for drainage. We’ve got to intensify the effort.”
Residents said the flooding worsened after homes started getting built next to the neighborhood. Stedule said the land was raised before the homes started going up and the slant is causing water to go down the new hill into her home.
“It’s only been happening since the construction has been going on behind us and they built the land up right there that used to be level with us,” Stedule said.
When the flooding was at its highest, residents called the mayor’s office and the city for help.
“The mayor’s office was absolutely no help,” said Mary Christenson, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years. “They said, ‘do you need assistance in leaving?’ Where am I gonna go? I’m disabled, I don’t have a car. I’m not going to a shelter, I have a cat. That was their answer so call back Monday morning,” she said.
The city said in the news release that public works, police and fire officials have visited some of the areas hit hardest by the historic rainfall. Besides Robbers Roost, the city said neighborhoods in Surf Estates and the Cherry Grove area also experienced “major ponding in their yards and flooding inside their homes.”
City Manager Mike Mahaney met with residents affected by the flooding and vowed to look for ways to “mitigate” drainage issues that residents say are to blame for the flooding problem.
According to the city, the Robbers Roost drainage system was designed by a professional engineer on behalf of the property’s developer. The city also said officials have met with representatives from an adjacent new development near Robber’s Roost “who has committed to adjusting their on-site stormwater maintenance devices to minimize the impact on existing developments.”
“In addition, they indicated they are willing to work with Robber’s Roost Villas to incorporate improvements that would enable the two private drainage systems to operate more efficiently,” the city said.