‘I can scuba dive in my living room’, says Socastee flood victim

‘I can scuba dive in my living room’, says Socastee flood victim
Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Florence made landfall, coastal communities in South Carolina continue to feel the after-effects of the storm.

SOCASTEE, SC (WIS) - Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Florence made landfall, coastal communities in South Carolina continue to feel the after-effects of the storm.

Many communities in North Carolina are beginning to dry out after the storm brought historic levels of rainfall, however that water continues flowing south and causing major flooding in many parts of eastern South Carolina.

One of the areas affected by the Waccamaw River overflowing is Socastee, South Carolina south of Myrtle Beach. Homes along the Intracoastal waterway sit under more than six feet of flood waters.

Robert Johnson and his fiancée purchased their home along the waterway eight months ago. Now, their living room has six feet of standing water in it.

“I took a picture a couple of days ago of myself in my scuba gear standing in my living room,” Johnson said. “I scuba dive for shark teeth normally, so does it count in my living room?” he said with a laugh.

Johnson is able to navigate his neighborhood by boat, like streets, signs, mailboxes, landscaping, and fencing is underwater.

“What else are you going to do,” he said. “In the meantime, you keep your spirits high and move on with life. Everybody is safe, everybody is healthy, most of us are dry at this point. It’s a sunny day, you have to look at the good things…it’s the price of living in paradise I guess.”

Johnson said he and his fiancée plan to clean up and stay in their home, but the flooding comes on the heels of several major flooding events in South Carolina over the last four years.

“First we had the 1,000-year flood, then Hurricane Matthew and now Florence, which just brought so much more water with it,” he said. “So the question for a lot of people becomes do you want to endure the possibility of something like this happening yet again?”

Johnson said he is also concerned about the wildlife displaced by the flood waters.

“I have videos of freshwater eels swimming up my driveway,” he said. “I’ve even had crayfish cling to my screens on my doors.”

Freshwater flounder have also found their way into the neighborhood, often spotted near the surface of the water in an attempt to get oxygen.

“This water is so polluted, it doesn’t surprise me they are struggling to get ample oxygen,” he said.

The Waccamaw River crested in Conway on Wednesday, according to state officials. It is expected to crest Saturday farther south in Pawleys Island.

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