Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission officials are adding cleanup of flood debris on the edge of Seven Oaks Park to their to-do list.
Plastic bags hang in trees and other debris is lodged in Kinley Creek flowing along the north edge of the 42-acre park in St. Andrews. Much of it was left by flooding caused by record rain Oct. 4 that damaged nearby homes and eroded backyards along the creek.
“No one has told us about it, but we’ll see what we can do,” commission executive director Elizabeth Taylor said.
A cleanup of trash in the creek is only the first step, said Art Guerry, president of the Whitehall Homeowners Association.
“We’re happy they (recreation officials) are willing to do that, but we’re working on solving our problems long-term,” he said.
The neighborhood group is looking at ways it can reduce chronic flooding and erosion, he said.
It’s an ambitious goal but one that’s become a necessity to protect homes in flood-prone sections of the neighborhood, he said.
A new study for Lexington County identified 49 homes in the neighborhood – and 50 more elsewhere – as located in areas most likely to be flooded.
County Council members are exploring what, if any, effort should be made to reduce flooding along the creek flowing from Broad River Road to the lower Saluda River. Guerry, a former councilman, welcomes such help but isn’t counting on it.
The creek cleanup comes after Seven Oaks Park served as a temporary disaster shelter for a few weeks for dozens of people after the October flood.
Since then, recreation officials concentrated on repairs at nearby Saluda Shoals Park.
Roads and trails in Saluda Shoals were damaged and covered with mud from two floods during the past three months.
Floods at the park on the river occurred when water was released from Lake Murray upstream during heavy rain to reduce pressure on its earthen dam.
Saluda Shoals – popular for its Christmas light show in December – suffered $150,000 in damage, Taylor said.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483