Intense Flooding Causes Evacuation In South Carolina After Hurricane Matthew | KERA News

Intense Flooding Causes Evacuation In South Carolina After Hurricane Matthew

Oct 15, 2016
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hurricane Matthew brought torrential rains to both North and South Carolina. And now a week after the storm, swollen rivers are flooding communities and residents have been evacuated. South Carolina's Public Radio's Cooper McKim reports from Conway.

COOPER MCKIM, BYLINE: I meet 29-year-old RaDraya Williams and her husband, Michael, in the middle of what used to be Bucksport Road and that is now under nearly a foot of water. Residents scrambled to gather their possessions following an emergency alert from Horry County announcing the neighborhood's evacuation. Michael and RaDraya Williams had come back to pick up the cars they left behind at his mother's house.

RADRAYA WILLIAMS: We've seen it flood before in our times but never like never like this - never like this.

MCKIM: This is the second major flood South Carolina has seen in the last year. A historic rainfall last October caused the nearby Waccamaw River to hit 16.2 feet. Right now, it's already three inches higher than that.

MICHAEL: It looks bad, real bad

MCKIM: His mother's tan trailer with green trim sits atop cinder blocks with several inches of rain pooled across the yard. Next door, in the flooded yard, there's an overturned lawn chair, a floating plastic dog house and old tupperware containers bobbing in place.

MICHAEL: When I was younger, like, before they paved this road, just the road would flood. But it never went in any yards or nothing like this.

MCKIM: Four additional counties in South Carolina are seeing similar emergencies as floodwaters slowly but predictably rise to dangerous levels. Michael makes a beeline to his white sedan. There's not too much floodwater underneath the car, but he's still nervous.

MICHAEL: Oh, lord, Jesus, please let me be able to get these cars out.

MCKIM: After some effort, the car makes it onto the street. RaDraya looks calm and says there's no point in worrying.

WILLIAMS: This is one of those things that we have no control over. I mean, it's all God's work.

MCKIM: Later today, the Waccamaw River is expected to crest at 17 feet before slowly receding over the next week. For NPR News, I'm Cooper McKim in Conway, S.C. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.