Dozens of residents in Irmo and St. Andrews left a session Tuesday evening on rebuilding their flood-damaged homes uncertain how to start repairs.
Lexington County officials told the crowd of about 400 people at Seven Oaks Park that it will be at least five weeks before it’s clear what is going to be allowed.
“There’s a lot of question marks at this point,” said Paulette Branham, who lives in the heavily damaged Pine Glen area near the river a mile north of I-20. “Fixing my home is on hold.”
Flash floods spawned by record rain Oct. 4 inundated seven neighborhoods near the lower Saluda River and along several creeks. The rising river, with extra water coming in from Lake Murray, caused additional damage in some places Oct. 5.
Many have had to leave their homes and find shelter elsewhere.
County officials reviewing the 400 or so homes damaged are starting to determine what repairs federal rebuilding standards will permit, County Administrator Joe Mergo told the gathering.
Determinations for each home will vary based on terrain and extent of damage, officials said. The goal is to reduce future damage in flood-prone areas.
It’s possible some homes must be elevated as high as 14 feet as part of renovations, officials said.
That kind of “devastating” news could lead some folks to abandon their homes, said County Councilman Phil Yarborough of Irmo, a home builder.
“It’s a huge concern,” said Mark Fuge, a community leader in the 134-home Pine Glen neighborhood. “There is anger, there is frustration, there is confusion and there is fear.”
Adair Long, 82, said it is daunting to deal with guidelines to rebuild the Pine Glen home she has lived in for 41 years.
“I’m numb,” she said. “I have no idea what the future is going to hold.”
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483.