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With Hurricane Irma, Awendaw residents worried about ongoing drainage issues

Awendaw Drainage Issue (WCIV)

The threat of a hurricane is giving a lot of people anxiety and for good reason. Several folks in Awendaw woke up to several inches of water in around their homes Wednesday morning, all from an everyday rainstorm.

Irene Singleton’s home was surrounded by water. Singleton lives in Awendaw off Highway 17. One of her home’s driveways was impassable and the lawn was thick with mud. She blames the drainage ditches, which are clogged and overwhelmed.

“You can see right here, if it rains some more, we’re not going to be able to get out of here,” she said. “The ditch is full.”

She’s owned her house since 1992 and said pooling water is a fairly new problem, adding it didn’t flood like it does now, even during Hurricane Matthew. If a regular rainstorm can cause that kind of pooling, Singleton said she’s not sticking around for a hurricane like Irma.

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“Oh please, I don’t even want to hear that name because if she comes, I don’t know,” she said.

She said she’s called the county several times about cleaning the ditches, but no one has come out yet. She worries the issue won’t be resolved in time.

“They need to do something about this but now definitely they need to do something about this because we pay taxes and we can’t get out on our roads,” Singleton said. “We can’t hardly come in.”

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In an E-mail response Wednesday, Shawn Smetana, Public Information Officer for Charleston County Government said:

“Our Public Works crews are working daily to keep the county road network and the county’s drainage systems in the best possible shape to withstand the effects of torrential rains and high water. Our priority of effort this week is insuring that the outfalls of our major drainage canals and ditches are open and flowing as freely as possible and that the county’s roads are open, passable and as all-weather as we can make them. If someone finds a specific problem with drainage canal, ditch or structure, or road, or any other problem, they can call 843 202-7600.”

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