Florence County acknowledges drainage problems, offers no permanent fix

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Drainage problems in Florence County are not uncommon. Residents in the Bellevue area say their yards flood after even light rainfall, and they have little hope that the county will make the changes needed to fix the problem.

Neighbors along S. Saint Anthony Avenue say they’ve contacted the county public works department and SCDOT, but the flooding continues.

John McIntyre has lived in his home for more than 15 years and says rain water does not properly drain, flooding his yard and street.

“It will flood my backyard, then go to the front yard. My neighbor, he gets it in his house,” explains McIntyre.

Neighbors have resorted to fixing the problem themselves. McIntyre’s neighbor bought a gasoline pump and uses it to remove the water from his yard to a ditch on Second Loop Road.

“This is a working class neighborhood,” says McIntyre. “People have to work with what they have to work with.” He says the flooding won’t stop until the current drain is replaced, but a complete renovation isn’t always necessary, according to Florence County officials.

Florence County Public Works Area 2 Supervisor Reg Baxley says while there is no strategic plan for drainage repairs throughout the county, workers are handling each call on a case by case basis.

“There is always room for improvement,” Baxley admits. “It won’t stay working most of the time, you will have to go back and maintain it,” he says of the drainage backup.

The second challenge county workers face getting permission from property owners. Crews must have permission from homeowners to work on drains located within 10 feet of the property.

McIntyre says he’s made multiple calls to have the drain near his home replaced, but based on past results, he may be looking at another decade before it’s fixed.

“It’s just been sitting there for 50 or 60 years,” says McIntyre.

Florence County Council Chair Kent Caudle says council is aware of the drainage issues in the county, but at this time there is no longterm plan to fix the issues.

Florence County residents who live on a county road and want to report a drainage issue in their neighborhood can call the public works department at 843-665-3022. Those who have a drainage problem and live on a city street can contact the Stormwater Operation Division at 843- 665-3236.

Residents who live on a state-owned road should reach out to SCDOT through an online work request.