Some parts of Socastee are flooded again, just three months after historic statewide floods that caused millions in damage.
Residents in the Bridgecreek community off S.C. 544 are dealing with high water levels from the Waccamaw River, which bleeds into the Intracoastal Waterway. Parts of the neighborhood have been flooded since last week, but the waters are slowly seeping back into the waterway.
For Jim Fraboni, this flooding marks the eighth time his house has gone under water since 1998.
“It is what it is,” Fraboni said outside of his Starcreek Circle home. “It’s depressing and it drives you crazy, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
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Fraboni’s home backs up to a drainage ditch near Rosewood Landing, which is situated right on the Intracoastal Waterway. His home was about a foot underwater Tuesday, while others in the area had ponds in their yards and water against their homes. The water was even deep enough for ducks to swim up to Fraboni’s front door.
This is the eighth time I’ve flooded. I’m so sick of drywall.
Jim Fraboni, Bridgecreek resident
The neighborhood also flooded in October during statewide historic floods, and Fraboni had almost finished putting his home back together when the water came seeping back inside. He quickly put his belongings on lifts – to prevent them from getting wet – and is running dehumidifiers to cut back on black mold.
He doesn’t plan to rebuild until after El Niño’s heavy rains predicted for next month.
“I’m not even going to redo it this time, because it’s going to happen again soon,” he said.
Randy Webster, director of Horry County Emergency Management, said voluntary evacuations were offered but nobody wanted assistance. Several people asked for help getting to and from their homes daily, Webster said, but the county cannot offer that sort of regular transportation.
“That’s not a safety issue,” he said. “We just don’t have the resources to do that every single day.”
If residents need assistance at any point, however, they can call 911 for help, Webster said.
Every event is different. It’s really starting to flow out now, and it should be fairly normal by the weekend.
Randy Webster, Horry County Emergency Management director
Most of the flooding is due to heavy rains in Florence and Columbia, which drains into area rivers and runs into the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee rivers, according to Stephen Keebler, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington. Area rivers, ditches and ponds are already at higher levels due to increased rain and October’s floods, so any additional wetness could mean more flooding, Keebler said.
“It’s really almost the perfect storm for river flooding and even short-term flooding,” he said.
Over the past three months, Myrtle Beach received 9.41 inches of rain, which is less than past years, Keebler said. Florence made up for the beach’s deficit by collecting 13.5 inches over three months, which has all made its way downstream and into Horry County, he said.
Horry County officials are urging people to get flood insurance. For those needing federal assistance from the October flooding, register at disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.
El Niño will most likely bring in more storms – thus more flooding – in the next few weeks, Keebler added.
“It doesn’t take much this time of year, and things can happen quickly,” he said.
Socastee residents are no strangers to fast floods. Nicole Harper, who also lives on Starcreek Circle, had to replace 48 percent of her home after the October floods. She rebuilt her house with a few inches of concrete in the garage to keep the water at bay, but her front and back yards weren’t spared.
2.43 inches Amount of rainfall over the past month in Myrtle Beach
So why stay in an area with frequent flooding?
“When you’re invested, when you have a mortgage and a family, you can’t just get up and leave,” Harper said.
Past home damage from the water also keeps some residents put, including Fraboni. He tried to sell his home several years ago, but with no luck.
“Nobody will buy it, and no Realtor will list it,” he said. “There’s just too much damage.”
But, for the residents of Bridgecreek, help is just next door.
“We all look out for each other,” Fraboni said. “We’ve got each other’s backs.”
Claire Byun: 626-0381, @Claire_TSN