Little River neighborhood worried growth could mean more flooding

LITTLE RIVER, SC (WBTW) – A Little River community says growth in the neighborhood is causing serious problems for them when it comes to storm water drainage. Residents are worried that proposed plans for new growth could leave them underwater and out of thousands of dollars.

North Village residents say they have enough problems when it rains. They are also worried that new developers bringing in new plans for North Village could only make their flooding problems worse.

“We have three ponds in this community, and every time we get a rain and the hurricane season is upon us, it will surely flood again,” said Dell Currence, a North Village homeowner.

Currence said she’s had Horry County engineers come out to check the retention pond behind her home. According to Currence, the engineers found a previous developer had not been handling the drainage and sewage properly. A county spokesperson hasn’t confirmed whether an engineer inspected the retention pond.

County records show a new developer, Wellons Properties, wants to go through Currence’s yard to put down new pipes to lead to the pond behind her home.

Currence has already talked to the construction crew and the engineer at Wellons Properties. “They say it’s not going to be sufficient, you’re still going to have flooding.”

Drawings of the plans show pipes will lead from the retention pond, across the street, and down to run off into a ditch, leading to the Waccamaw River.  Residents who live in its path say crews have already been out to tell them their yards will be impacted in the process.

“They are digging up everything. They want to destroy pavers, driveways, utilities,” said Vladimir Bendus, who also lives in North Village.

Vladimir Bendus says the lines have already been drawn to tear up his flower beds and half of his yard for the new pipes.

“I spent a lot of money for this yard to build everything,” Bendus said.  “Like I told you, nobody is guaranteeing any restores.”

The developer says they’ve been working to put most of the drainage pipes in the street, to be less invasive to homeowners and that the plans have already been approved by the county.

Still, North Village residents say they just want answers from the county to be sure the new plans won’t add to their existing problems.

“It feels a little bit like a criminal assault,” said Bill Parker, another North Village resident.

WBTW has reached out to the county’s planning department and storm water department, but have not heard back. Horry County officials are working on a new storm water ordinance that would require original developers to sign a contract with the county to keep up with any drainage problems that may come, even after they leave a development, much like what happened in North Village, Little River.

North Village residents plan to go to Horry County Council next Tuesday to voice their concerns.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included claims by Dell Currence that Horry County engineers found R.S. Parker had not been handling the drainage and sewage properly. Ronnie Parker Sr., however, disputed Currence’s account and said R.S. Parker wasn’t the original developer and had nothing to do with the drainage and sewage issues. News13 removed the reference to R.S. Parker while it waits for a response from a county spokesperson.