AP NEWS

Hartsville homeowners worried and watched the water rise

September 20, 2018

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – As Hurricane Florence slowly moved through the Carolinas late last week, Kathy Dunlap had two major concerns: the wind ripping through her adopted hometown of Hartsville and the water rising in her backyard.

Dunlap and her husband, Gus, own property fronting Prestwood Lake, which was created by the damning of Black Creek. “What was bothering me was the wind,” Dunlap said Thursday afternoon as she walked near the lake. “It looked like it was coming on to Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. It looked like that we would probably get that sweep around of the winds. At that time, it was a lot more upsetting thinking about that.”

Flooding was her other major concern. Black Creek runs from southern North Carolina until its confluence with the Great Pee Dee River. The areas drained by the creek have been hard hit by Florence and so the water from the hurricane is slowly making its way southeast toward the Atlantic Ocean.

“And also they were talking about biblical type flooding,” Dunlap continued. “I had seen flooding. I grew up over in Dillon County and they did get hit hard. What, 23 inches or so? And through the years as a child remembering those heavy rains with hurricanes. Yeah, they were kind of hard.”

Dunlap was not worried so much about the lake because it’s quite across another property she and her husband own and quite a few feet below their home on Lakeshore Drive.

Still, the water in the lake rose to the pump house she and her husband have on the other property. The property called the point adjacent was covered in water, leaving only the trees visable.

However, the part of Hartsville in which she lives is below a bluff upon which Home Avenue is located. When it rains, water from the road runs down the hill and collects in her backyard.

Gus tried to pump the water during the rains but after a while, the water became too much. Even Wednesday afternoon, nearly a week after Hurricane Florence’s landfall, their backyard is covered in water.

Naturally, their border collie, Sadie, loves the water. Their chickens are not so much fans of the water.

Dunlap said the chickens were scared at first but now will walk along the edge of the water.

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