Riverwalks shut down for weekend

jholleman@thestate.comMay 10, 2013 

Frederick Austin of Gilbert, heard about the flooding and had to come see for himself on Tuesday. Heavy rains cause flooding over the banks at Cayce River Walk.

KIM KIM FOSTER-TOBIN — kkfoster@thestate.com Buy Photo

— If you want to take a walk along the rivers this weekend, steer away from the Cayce and West Columbia riverwalks. They’re closed due to flooding.

Even as the Congaree River floodwaters recede, city officials warn it could take several days to clean debris from the walkways. It could take longer if the waters caused any structural damage to the paved walkway or boardwalk sections.

West Columbia hopes to reopen its portion of the walkways early next week. Cayce, which has more low sections close to the river, likely won’t be open until later in the week.

At the peak, the waters were at the top of the light poles on some sections of the Cayce walkway, said city manager Rebecca Rhodes.

Alternatives include the paved trail in Columbia’s Riverfront Park or the trails at Saluda Shoals Park, which were reopened Friday. Or for something different, head to Congaree National Park, where the nearly one-mile elevated portion of the boardwalk remained above floodwaters. It’s a rare treat to see that portion of the forest with water flowing under the boardwalk.

And if you’re heading to the Upstate, the mountain waterfalls should be pumping. Lakes Jocassee and Hartwell, which have been down for several years as the region dealt with drought, are 15 feet higher than during the dry fall of 2012.

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