Mario Melendez spent part of Friday stacking sandbags around the Shandon neighborhood home he shares with his wife, Courtney, in Columbia.
Rainfall from the previous week’s storms flooded the intersection of Monroe and Maple streets, as it often does, causing the water to rise up several inches on the foundation of their house, running through vents and under their house. When motorists drove through it, it created waves that washed up on their porch.
The couple on Friday tried to safeguard their house from the predicted heavy rains.
Earlier last week the city of Columbia placed barricades on the street for the homeowners to put up when the street starts to flood.
“If you don’t put the barricades up, people will drive through here and the waves come through our front yard and wash onto our porch,” Courtney Melendez said. “We saw two cars get stuck last week trying to drive through the water.”
In addition to buying an entire pallet of sand, more than $600 worth, to place around their foundation and doors, the couple has placed some furniture on blocks and made plans for their pets to stay someplace else. “If it floods, we can’t stay here. It will be easier without a 90-pound dog,” Courtney Melendez said.
Knowing what to expect helped the Melendezes prepare.
“It was absolutely nerve-wracking, I was out here digging out a drain, we had water up to our knees,” Mario Melendez said. “It was really scary-one of the more helpless feelings I’ve ever had.”
“We’re hoping for the best. We hope the forecast is just slightly wrong. We’re battening down the hatches-preparing for the worst.