Street flooding raises drainage questions

  • Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo Courtesy Jeepy Ford
Heavy rains Tuesday led to street flooding in Georgetown. This photo was taken at the intersection of Fraser and Highmarket streets, just two blocks from a pond next to City Hall that’s designed to help with drainage problems that have plagued the city for decades

GEORGETOWN S.C. — According to the National Weather Service, the City of Georgetown received about 1.5 inches of rain Tuesday. However, it fell in about a 30-minute period which caused street flooding in some parts of the city. Portions of Fraser Street had to be blocked to traffic for a while as deep water crossed the highway.
The worst of the flooding was near the intersection of Highway 17 and Gilbert Street.
The flooding had some asking if the new drainage system installed next to City Hall was operating as promised.
In a memo to Mayor Jack Scoville, Jonathan Heald, the city’s Public Services director, said the drainage system next to City Hall does not extend as far south as Gilbert Street.
“It has a separate connection to the river through the Steel Mill,” Heald wrote.
There was also flooding at the intersection of Highmarket Street and Highway 17 which does drain into the new system.
Heald said while there are inlets and a 42-inch pipe underneath Fraser Street, there are no inlets in Highmarket between Fraser and Hazard. “This places a lot of pressure on the two inlets at the intersection and have probably overwhelmed them.”
Scoville said “add-ons” have to be constructed to the system to reach the other areas of the city. But that costs money and, he said, it’s unknown when City Council will begin discussing the expansion of the system.
To help with problems city-wide, two new employees are being hired whose job it will be to clean out the pipes and the drains in the city. Keeping the pipes and drains unclogged will do a lot to help flooding from taking place, Scoville said.

By Scott Harper

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