The latest rain pummeling the Walterboro area on Tuesday, once again raised concerns over the water levels and locals fear the worst-case scenario if no action is taken soon.
The south part of the state has seen flooded multiple times in the recent years and people understandably are concerned as every heavier rain means problems for them.
One of them is Paul Walker of Walterboro who owns several homes and business in the Ireland Creek area and almost all of them were flooded on Tuesday.
“It could be an amenity, but it’s not it’s a huge detriment,” says Walker.
Walker calls the creek a “self-created mess.”
“The creek isn’t a creek, it’s a ditch. It’s filled up with so much sand and dirt,” he says.
According to Walker, after years of erosion, the water has nowhere to go, but up. The Ireland Creek runs through Walterboro but often runs over it and Walker is among the many who faces serious damages as water is flooding his tenant’s homes and businesses.
“We are so worried every time we check the weather,” says resident Emi Fycano. “If it rains for a couple for days, we need to plan whether we need to evacuate.”
The city is in charge of the issues we face, we pay taxes, we expect the city administration to fix this, Walaker added.
“I am frustrated,” he says. “Something needs to be done and the thing, it’s solvable, it’s fixable, if the city will just take some action.”
While the residents live in everyday fear of flooding, the city officials claim they already have a plan what to do with Ireland Creek. However, they still don’t a budget for the project but expect to have it by the end of the year.
“We are looking at a comprehensive redevelopment of that area which would include dredging out and improving and increasing the drainage capacity,” Walterboro City Manager Jeff Molinari says.
Walkaer says the residents need a short-term and efficient solution as they suffer serious financial damages as a result of the flooding.
“They also need to do something temporarily because people are losing so much business who can’t have access,” says Walker.
Molinari says there is no definitive timeline to fix it yet, and it has not been put on the agenda for council to consider despite the public concerns.