Some stay, others leave Riverside Drive homes as Waccamaw rises

Some stay, others leave Riverside Drive homes as Waccamaw rises

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Many families are staying in their houses along the Waccamaw River like they did when it flooded in October 2015, but others are packing up and leaving while they wait for the power to come back on, an issue they didn't have to deal with one year ago.

Penelope Hinson, of Horry Electric Cooperative, said crews cannot restore electricity with the current flooding because it's unsafe.

Another major difference from the flooding of 2015 to now is the debris and large trees down throughout the river and neighborhood.

That makes it more difficult to navigate boats for the people who are staying in their homes right now, and also for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources agents on the water.

SCDNR Sgt. Nate Hudson said some agents picked up 10-by-10 posts floating around the water and if they hadn't seen them first, their boat could've been damaged and they could've gotten hurt.

He said debris floating through the water could hit homes and agents are working to pick up what they see, but there isn't any way they can clear out all of it from the river.

Hudson recommends people clean up what they can if flooding hasn't reached them yet with the understanding that the water will likely reach them soon.

Bruce Johnson lives at the end of Riverside Drive and he said he watched trees snap during the storm.

"We had one real close to the house and you could actually see the ground moving," he said. "We thought for sure that was going to come up and that would've landed on the house, but we dodged that bullet."

He said the river level came up faster than last year.

Johnson said he plans to stay home where he has a generator unless the water rises into the main level of his house.

"Even though it's a little bit hard getting in and out, I'd rather be there than anything else," he said.

Water got into his lower level "man cave" last October. The repairs to the room just finished last Thursday and now the water is only inches away from it.

"I didn't have any idea it would be this soon before I'd be having to do it again," Johnson said.

However, Johnson said the community makes the hardships worthwhile.

"We didn't leave last time and I don't consider us leaving this time or any other time," he said.

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