Fourth flood in two years wearing on West Ashley neighborhood
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
The clean-up process has become almost routine for those living the Bridgepointe communitry, which is tucked away behind Shadowmoss Plantation in West Ashley.
Ask anyone there, and they’ll say they never get used to it. It’s why many are looking for a way out.
John Knipper always imagined he’d be living on the water during retirement, but not in this way.
“Five inches seems to be the magic number,” he said. “If we get more than five inches, we’re likely to flood, less than that, we should be okay.”
On Monday, his townhome and 31 others were inundated with flood water. It’s the fourth time in two years.
“I find as every flood hits, my resilience diminishes a bit,” Knipper said.
On Wednesday, assessors with the City of Charleston went house to house documenting damage.
Knipper not only lives in Bridgepointe, he’s the president of the homeowner’s association. He said the responsibility of finding answers for the neighborhood falls on him. He said the city has applied for several grants with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but each disaster, local or not, puts them further from answers.
“Essentially they’d have appraisers come in and evaluate the property, appraise the property and we would be paid for the value of our property and they would demolish the homes,” he said. “We still haven’t got an answer. As a matter of fact, we just got notified a few weeks ago that there’s going to be a delay in our decision based on what happened in Hurricane Harvey in Texas.”
Knipper said majority of neighbors are elderly and are struggling to keep up with the ongoing financial burdens. He said eight people have moved out and left their townhome vacant.
“It’s just tough and it’s even tougher for some people here. I mean, many of them have left, they’ve just abandoned the place,” said Knipper. “And it’s a high cost, can you imagine the cost of keeping a home that is empty while you live somewhere else?”