'Wash-out' forms when road caves in Colleton County

Dave MacQueen (WCIV)

By Stacy

LODGE, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Colleton County road will be shut down while state Department of Transportation crews repair a section of road that washed out from the prolonged heavy rains across the Lowcountry.

It's a problem that is making a mess of the roads and people's livelihoods in Colleton County.

Peggy Williams said she serves her fried chicken to the people of Colleton County every day. She has owned the N&W Grocery for eight years and said she had never seen rain like this year.

"It's about to wash us away out here," Williams said.

She said the rain has cost farmers millions of dollars. And on days like Friday, farm workers get sent home or told not to come in at all.

Because of the rain, the sound of putting up road blocks is also familiar this summer.

But those road blocks are nothing compared to Friday morning's surprise on Carter's Ford Road: a "wash out," or a sort of sinkhole on the side of the road.

"When that gap gets there between the pipe sections, it takes dirt with it. The dirt goes right through the pipe. Eventually it causes the road to collapse," said the SCDOT's Adam Bishop.

Bishop said the DOT was trying to replace the pipes under the road. They separate too easily because there are a lot of small sections linked together.

But until then, or until it's at least patched, it will be closed.

"It's extremely dangerous," he said. "Worst case scenario they could fall in there and not be able to get back out. There is a significant amount of water in the hole."

That left Williams to wonder if her customers would be able to get to the store. But she knew, sometimes it's all in Mother Nature's hands.

"With people going to work in the mornings and back in the afternoons it's going to be an inconvenience," she said. "Can't do a thing about it."

If you come across these orange cones or any barrier, do not in any case try to pass it, officials said.

The DOT hoped to have Carter's Ford Road by some time next week.