Floodwaters rise closing streets and roads in areas of Lexington County closest to the Congaree
Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – Floodwaters are rising in the portions of Lexington County that are closest to the Congaree River. For the most part, the areas that are seeing the most pressure are the cities of West Columbia and Cayce.
As with most heavy rain events, West Columbia and Cayce have closed their Riverwalks and recreational areas associated with the river. The Congaree continues to fill with storm water that fell in the Midlands over the last week. Even larger quantities of precipitation that fell geographically above us and now flows from the Saluda River through Lake Murray aren't helping. There is also water roaring down the Broad River after heavier precipitation that occurred Thursday in the Upstate. All that water is now making its way southeast toward the coast. Until this water passes, the level of the river continues to rise causing floods and flooding concerns.
On the 12th Street Extension across I-77 from the Cayce city limits in the Lexington County Industrial Park, there is water crossing the road just outside the entrance to Amazon. In the short time that The Ledger’s reporter was on the scene taking photos, the water rose from the lowest side of the road until it had gone out to the median. He said officials were on the scene accessing it. They closed the northbound lane heading back toward Cayce just before 12:15 p.m.
Near Fort Congaree Trail on the Cayce side off I-77, water had crossed some roads and side streets. These were already being closed. A Cayce officer estimated the depth at 4”-5” as of 11:30 a.m. Saturday. There was also water rising toward the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission’s state-of-the-art tennis complex’s courts.
In the 2700 block of Riverland Drive in the Riverland Park neighborhood, water was beginning to inch through backyards threatening some homes there. The homeowner at 2709 has a basement that is said to already be filling fast. This neighborhood, built right on the banks of the Congaree, has a history of highwater events during and after heavy periods of rain; This is nothing new for Riverland Park.
In the area of Old State Road, there is water as far as the eye can see as you get closer to the Cayce Boat Landing. That landing is closed, and the entire area is off-limits because of the water. One officer said that someone moved some cones earlier that were limiting access to the area. He assured our correspondent that was a very good way to get fined and driving around barricades could get you killed if your vehicle gets swept away.
Some Cayce officers are placing rudimentary markers in areas and are checking them frequently to try and get an idea of how fast the water is rising. At this time, we simply know the water is here, its rising, and it’s doing so quickly. It is strongly suggested that people who don’t have to be in the area stay out. When any level of water crosses the road, don’t drive through, stop. The old saying, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” should be observed in every case.