City of Washington sees rampant flooding

Published 2:17 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2016

After heavy rains Tuesday night and into the day Wednesday, many areas of Beaufort County are underwater. Click HERE to view more photos.

The Washington area saw several inches of rain starting Monday afternoon, and combined with already wet ground, the water continued to rise.

Some of the affected areas included: right lane of U.S. Highway 264 East, side streets branching off of Market Street, the 12th Street area, 15th Street locations and the Smallwood subdivision, to name a few.

The rainy weather is expected to continue further into the week, with an 80-percent chance of thunderstorms on Thursday and a 60-percent chance on Friday, and then tapering off on Saturday.

Crews were out Wednesday, setting up cones in flooded areas and ensuring the city’s drainage systems were flowing properly.

John Pack, director of Beaufort County Emergency Management Services, said emergency crews were working on evacuations at Heritage Park Apartments in Washington, as the water levels were expected to rise to the point of blocking in tenants.

Pack said there was also a voluntary evacuation in the area behind East Coast Wings in 15th Street as those water levels rose on Wednesday.

“We’re trying to coordinate it all and get our hands wrapped around it,” he said. “(Fire Chief) Robbie Rose is trying to coordinate now to make sure, with the Red Cross, people have a place to stay.”

Pack said, as far as he knows, the flooding appears to have been specific to the city of Washington, and the heavy rains caused little impact to the rest of the county.

He said the conditions are no worse than the last bout of heavy rain on Monday, and crews are working to stay on top of any flooding issues.

Public safety officials are warning residents about the dangers of driving through flooded roadways, as well as the potential for vehicles to hydroplane. Residents are asked to avoid areas with high water for safety reasons and to reduce the risk of property damage. Even if a vehicle is able to go through the water, the waves created in its wake can cause more flooding and damage to surrounding properties.