Oak Dale Dam overflow floods Florence County, residents rescued by boat

Oak Dale Dam overflow floods Florence County, residents rescued by boat
Palm at Oak Dale Golf Course flooded
Palm at Oak Dale Golf Course flooded

FLORENCE, SC - Florence County was hit hard Sunday with flooded areas all around the area and are in a mandatory curfew until Monday morning at sunrise.

The Palm at Oak Dale golf course was completely washed out from the overflow of the dam. While the South Carolina Emergency Management Division originally reported that the dam broke, water just overflowed the emergency spillway, as it was designed to do, according to SCEMD officials. Waters were almost reaching the roads of the neighborhoods near the golf course.

This wasn't the only problem area for the county Sunday. Black Creek Road was flooded more than two miles before reaching the creek. Windy Hill Fire and West Florence Fire were conducting boat rescues all day today for people who needed to be evacuated from their homes.

One resident who has lived off the creek his entire life was there in his boat making sure his neighbors were safe.

Hunter Baker says he was "just checking out and checking on everybody. Just making sure everybody is okay that's back there. There ain't but a couple people back there."

Andrew Golden with Florence Emergency Management was at Black Creek Sunday, and had some tips for county residents."Don't drive through that heavily-watered areas because you don't know how deep it is, you don't know what the ground is like beneath them, you don't want to drive over that stuff, and you could end up causing harm to yourself or the responders that have to go out there and get you out of that situation," he said.

Emergency crews advise everyone to please stay off the roads, especially at night because of the lack of visibility.

On Tuesday, the spill over from the lake caused a different problem.

A massive sink hole formed within a matter of hours for one Florence County resident.

"It was quite scary," Sarah Kennedy, whose yard collapsed said.

Kennedy said she is shocked to see what gallons upon gallons of flood water can do, after witnessing its power in her backyard.

Kennedy lives just about a mile West of Lake Oak Dale. The street causing the problem is West Pelican Lane, it runs along the side of her home.

"It was just a regular yard completely filled in. When all the rain started real bad within an hour it just completely covered the road and started washing down, Kelly said.

She said there was no loud boom, no crashing sound, just shock and dismay when she looked out the window at what she describes as a crater in her backyard.

"As of right now were just watching it and if that starts to give way were leaving we will be gone," Kennedy said.

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