Florence road still washed out months after Matthew

Florence road still washed out months after Matthew

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - It's been almost eight months since Hurricane Matthew and the Oakdale community in Florence County still has a washed out road.

West Pelican Lane is in Oakdale near Interstate 95 and the Palms Golf Course. The road has been completely impassable and is totally eroded. "

If they don't stop it, it's going to continue to erode. There's nothing stopping it," Geer Ward said.

He is hoping an even bigger problem doesn't come from it.

"This pond feeds into Lake Oakdale, and which in turn feeds into Forest Lake. So if this thing continue to erode, then this whole pond will fail. It will force a lot of water into Lake Oakdale at one time, which will probably not be good," he said.

Once Ward found out it was state owned, he still did not receive a call back from the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

He said he's seen a tree placed in the middle to prevent drivers from passing the road and the road closure signs are now chained down.

"They can argue. I know they are probably trying to figure out who has to pay what, but somebody should just go ahead and fix the road and they can argue about the bills later, because we really need to access our entire neighborhoods," he said.

Ward added he waited about two months before he tried to get the help he and his neighbors want, and first called the district's county councilman, Williard Doerty.

Doerty told him the county has nothing to do with it because it is state-owned.

The SCDOT resident maintenance engineer for Florence County, Al Griggs, said the washed-out road is an earth dam and the property owner needs to repair it first, bring it back up to Department of Health and Environmental Control standards and then DOT crews can get out there and start the repairs.

Ward said the road had washed out previously too.

"During the one last year, when we had the big rain, it had some washing but it didn't erode the road like this," he said. "I'm concerned for children playing. I've seen children around here, they ride their bicycles, so you know that's really dangerous. Of course children are curious and they will go look."

Both the county and SCDOT explained they are waiting just like the homeowners.

WMBF News has reported the same road issue happening in a Country Club of South Carolina neighborhood. The deeper issue is that of land ownership and it isn't easy for the homeowners to get the answers they need in a timely manner.

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