Flooding problems affecting local homes

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Friday, January 4, 2019
News 12 at 11

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – All of the recent rain has been causing some flooding across the river region. Roadways and drains are overflowing in many areas, including Aiken County.

News 12 spoke with a homeowner today whose situation reflects a larger problem. The flooding issue has been building over time but it came to a head this year and is now a state issue.

Annie Jenkins' has lived in her Clearwater home for a lifetime.

"Now I've got to deal with all this, well actually I've been dealing with this," said Jenkins.

She is describing the water building up outside her home.

"I love God's work but I tell you what I start to dread it in a way when I know it's gonna rain," said Jenkins.

It has been raining for the better part of a month now and her flooding problem goes way beneath the surface. There is about a foot of water underneath her house.

"Oh yeah, it is," said Jenkins. "When they paved our street, they cut this opening for the water to run off down here."

Hundreds, maybe even thousands of gallons are right beneath their floorboards. It's gotten so bad, her son, 35-year-old James, built a makeshift pump to get it out.

"The structure of the house inside has changed," said James. "When the heat goes off, you can really feel it, the cold from the water underneath the house."

They've called every agency they can think of and everyone points the finger to someone else.

"I can't take no more of this. This is just too much," said Jenkins.

This problem is becoming more common.

Governor Henry McMaster formed South Carolina’s first-ever floodwater commission this year to tackle the growing problem. The state is still recovering from water damage due to Hurricane Irma.

Reports released this year show thousands of homes and businesses in the Carolinas could be damaged by more intense storms in the years to come.

Jenkins' lives in this situation every day.

"About twenty years it just gets worse and worse," said Jenkins.

Climate-related damages hit a record-breaking $306 billion in the U.S this past year. The commission here in South Carolina is looking at the effects these storms are having on coastal and low-lying areas more inland. Many of them are in the Aiken and North Augusta areas.