Paula Schwartz and her neighbor, Michael Philpot, spent their day worrying about the creek that flows a few hundred feet from their homes in the 3100 block of Chelsea Drive. Every time heavy rains roll in, the neighbors have to move their cars to higher land and take turns making sure the creek has not flooded.
Since the flood of 1990, which cost them more than $25,000 each, the neighbors have been waiting.
“We have been told every year that the government is going to buy our houses,” said Schwartz, who has lived in the same house on Chelsea Drive since 1976. “And every year we’re told not yet.”
Philpot said he should have paid off his property more than a decade ago but could not because of the damage from the 1990 flood.
Both homes have extensive water damage. Even when the creek does not flood, the water still comes through their yards, and it has ruined their foundations, Schwartz said. She also has floor damage inside.
“We could put thousands into fixing our homes, but how can we do that when we are supposed to be bought out at any time?” she said.
Laney-Walker flooded Saturday for the second time this week, as did Peach Orchard Road.
Harlem saw more than six inches according to Pam Tucker, Columbia County’s emergency and operations director.
According to the National Weather Service in Columbia, Augusta Regional Airport broke a rainfall record with 4.66 inches by 6 p.m. The previous record for Aug. 11 was 3.02 inches in 1915. Daniel Field saw 4.95 inches and the Riverwalk saw 3.85. Evans saw 4.6 inches and Clarks Hill saw 2.58.
The area is supposed to dry up for the rest of the weekend and into Monday, meteorologist Dan Miller said. The storms are moving to the southeast and should be over by Saturday night.
“It looks like we’re going to get a couple of days to dry out,” he said.
The rain has had at least one positive impact, Miller said. Augusta Regional was almost 11 inches behind in rainfall before this month, now it is behind only 6.43 inches. Daniel Field has seen 8.16 inches in August alone.
“We are catching up,” he said.