Flooding worsens across our part of the Carolinas with Little Pee Dee, Waccamaw, Lumber rivers rising

Pee Dee

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Intracoastal Waterway at Socastee has risen to action stage at 14.6 feet, according to News13’s Chief Meteorologist Frank Johnson.

Since the Waccamaw River is forecast to rise, the ICW will likely continue to rise as well. The Waccamaw River near Conway will rise to a major flood stage by Monday and continue to rise through mid-week.

“When it’s not flooding, it’s a beautiful area. Horry is a beautiful county. Conway is a beautiful county, an amazing place to be. We just have to deal with this in order to enjoy it,” said Billiejo Blake, a resident on Waccamaw Lane Drive said.

Blake said she’s lived here for 2 years and this has happened 8 times saying, “We’ve just learned not to have anything like yard stuff it’s pointless.”

In Lee’s Landing area, resident Mary Sealund said she’s used her front yard looking like a lake. “Obviously because we’ve had so much rain, the ground can not absorb any more. So the more rain we get, our place turns into a total lake.”

Meanwhile, the Little Pee Dee River near Galivants Ferry will rise into major flood stage this weekend, Frank Johnson says. The Lumber River is in a moderate flood stage. And the Black Creek near Quinby also is in a moderate flood stage but will fall into a minor flood stage this weekend.

“Every time it rains it’s like this,” Anthony Bland said before driving through a flooded road to get home. “I don’t know if there’s anything that can be done, but these people flood out all the time.”

Pee Dee Island Road off Highway 76 outside of Nichols is one of the area being most impacted by flooding. SCDOT says Old Mullins Highway is closed for a stretch along with Pee Dee Island Road in Marion County.

Flooding has prompted road closures in several counties, including Robeson County. Residents there are watching the flooding closely in a riverfront neighborhood along Fork Rench Court, which is completely waterlogged.

One woman said she was shocked when water damaged her shed. “I was shocked because this is my first time going through this,” said Gail Ford on Pee Dee Island Road. “And its just devastating. It is. I have a lot of memorabilia in there, pictures of my daddy who just passed.”

Flooding has gotten considerably worse over the past 24 hours along Waccamaw River as well. Thomas Bell with Horry County Emergency Management Services says they expect to see moderate to major flooding in areas and have members of Horry County Fire Rescue checking in on neighborhoods and putting up road signs.

Drivers are struggling to get cars through on some roads, such as Waccamaw River Drive and Lees Landing Court. One resident said this happens every time it rains. But another resident said she hasn’t seen it this bad since the last hurricane hit. Her yard has turned into a lake along with her surrounding neighbors’ yards.

“You live here, it kind of just comes with the territory, to be honest with you,” said Mary Sealund, of Lee’s Landing area. “I know down closer by the river it gets exhausting for them. It gets hard. You see down the road, people hauling their excess cars, anything on the ground out to higher land”

The Lumber River is projected crest at 19.7 feet over the weekend. Major flood stage is considered 19 feet.

The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office was out checking on residents in flooded areas with high water vehicles. Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said deputies will continue to do so Thursday night and Friday morning.

Some roads and neighborhoods in Marion County are also waterlogged, due to impacts from the Lumber and Little Pee Dee rivers. Officials in Nichols say the town should expect possible flash flooding and standing water in low lying areas. Officials add that those living near ditches and on the river will see a ‘considerable rise’ in water but ‘nothing devastating.’

Meanwhile, the Lynches River at Effingham is at a minor flood stage and causing some flooding in that area.

“When the river is like it is now—it’s like everyday you wake up and you’re looking outside to see if the water’s come up,” Amanda Martin of Robeson County said.

Martin is keeping a close eye on the water levels as it creeps a bit into her lawn. She had to rebuild the home she’s lived in her whole life after Hurricane Matthew left her family was nothing.

Any rising water can trigger traumatic memories for her. “Especially when the river gets high you’re always worried,” she said.

The Lumber River crested at 28 feet during Hurricane Matthew, which is much higher than anything expected out of the current flooding.

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