Darlington undergoing major stormwater project

Darlington undergoing major stormwater project

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - The city of Darlington is undergoing a stormwater project to alleviate major flooding on the southwest end of the city.

Officials say the area has had issues with flooding for years. They said the storm drain upgrade is something the project will help with.

The $2.6 million project will update the current stormwater structure by replacing pipes, increasing the size of the water pipes and cleaning open ditches.

Officials said the current pipes are more than 70 years old, which makes the project difficult. For the past couple of weeks, crews ran into a number of abandoned water and sewer pipes during the project.

Rose Pruitt lives on West Broad Street a few minutes from Pearl Street. She said her area is the worst when it comes to flooding. She claims the storm drains on her street are completed clogged up and haven't worked in a number of years.

On days when it's about to rain Pruitt has special props, including a sign that says "Fix this storm drain" and "Getting ducked by city of Darlington" in her yard, to show just how bad the problem is.

"This is usually what I put out, the rubber duck, the signs because of the stormwater flooding that gets so deep out here," Pruitt said.

Pruitt said a half of an inch of rainfall leaves 17 inches at her driveway and limited access to her house.

"They can't get to the trash cans. They can't deliver my mail. I can't get out the driveway," Pruitt said.

But when it really pours, Pruitt said she is limited to where she can go.

"A heavier rain event will flood all the way up to my house," she said.

While Pruitt admitted she doesn't believe her street is one of the areas slated for the project, she said she hopes the city will be able to fix the flooding problem completely.

"They're hoping that that would clear out some of the clogs in here cause it's probably just many, many years of sediment that's impacted it," Pruitt said.

City officials say they expect the portion of the project that closed Pearl Street to be completed by July 26. The entire stormwater project is expected to be completed by the middle of November.

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