Originally created 01/24/98

Workers waiting for rainy weather to clear up



A soggy new year is taking its toll on construction projects in Aiken and Richmond counties.

The Augusta area received nearly 2 inches of rain in the past two days, said Jeff Linton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. And, although the downpour was not severe enough to cause major flooding, it had outdoor construction crews taking cover.

"It's forced most, if not all, of our outside workers inside. It just keeps raining and raining and raining and raining," said Chuck Merritt, assistant manager at Collier & Collier Construction Co. in Augusta. "And when you have wet weather like this, you can't really do anything with the ground."

For Mobley Construction the inclement weather is making projects linger on that could be completed if the rain would stop long enough.

"It's got us stopped on several jobs," Chip Mobley said. "It just slows everything up. You just can't get it finished because the ground is saturated. You only have one or two days for it to dry out, and you can't get the stuff compacted properly."

Heavy rains and wet ground have also halted construction on the part of the Three Rivers Regional Landfill in Aiken that will actually hold garbage.

The landfill bottom is made of a 2-foot-thick impermeable clay liner. The liner must be completely dry before the required sheet of high density polyethylene is laid on top.

"What we need is five sunny days in a row," said Colin Covington, projects director of the Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority. "We need them no later than March 1."

Landfill builders were able to do grading this week, so no more time has been lost, Mr. Covington said. But if they don't get better weather during the next month, the opening of the landfill will probably be delayed.

Though the area was drenched, the only flood warning issued Friday was for Stevens Creek, near the town of Modoc in McCormick County.

Emergency management staff for Columbia and Richmond counties said they were watching closely to see if there were going to be problems.

There were two calls from Richmond County residents concerned about flooding in their yards and emergency crews were called out to check on drainage systems, said Pam Tucker, director of Richmond County Emergency Management office.

In Columbia County, heavy rains left small amounts of stagnant water around streets and yards.

"It would take a good heavy rain to cause any problems," said Scott Sherman, operations manager for Columbia County Emergency Management office. "All the creeks stayed within their boundaries and none of our flood-prone areas were in danger. With the funnel system breaking, it looks like we'll be clear."

The weather today is expected to be mostly cloudy with a chance of light showers. Conditions are expected to be clear Sunday and cloudy Monday. More rain is expected Tuesday, Mr. Linton said. Staff Writer Alisa DeMao contributed to this article.

BYLINE1:By Willie Mae Worthey and Todd Bauer

BYLINE2:Staff Writers

A soggy new year is taking its toll on construction projects in Aiken and Richmond counties.

The Augusta area received nearly 2 inches of rain in the past two days, said Jeff Linton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. And, although the downpour was not severe enough to cause major flooding, it had outdoor construction crews taking cover.

"It's forced most, if not all, of our outside workers inside. It just keeps raining and raining and raining and raining," said Chuck Merritt, assistant manager at Collier & Collier Construction Co. in Augusta. "And when you have wet weather like this, you can't really do anything with the ground."

For Mobley Construction the inclement weather is making projects linger on that could be completed if the rain would stop long enough.

"It's got us stopped on several jobs," Chip Mobley said. "It just slows everything up. You just can't get it finished because the ground is saturated. You only have one or two days for it to dry out, and you can't get the stuff compacted properly."

Heavy rains and wet ground have also halted construction on the part of the Three Rivers Regional Landfill in Aiken that will actually hold garbage.

The landfill bottom is made of a 2-foot-thick impermeable clay liner. The liner must be completely dry before the required sheet of high density polyethylene is laid on top.

"What we need is five sunny days in a row," said Colin Covington, projects director of the Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority. "We need them no later than March 1."

Landfill builders were able to do grading this week, so no more time has been lost, Mr. Covington said. But if they don't get better weather during the next month, the opening of the landfill will probably be delayed.

Though the area was drenched, the only flood warning issued Friday was for Stevens Creek, near the town of Modoc in McCormick County.

Emergency management staff for Columbia and Richmond counties said they

were watching closely to see if there were going to be problems.

There were two calls from Richmond County residents concerned about flooding in their yards and emergency crews were called out to check on drainage systems, said Pam Tucker, director of Richmond County Emergency Management office.

In Columbia County, heavy rains left small amounts of stagnant water around streets and yards.

"It would take a good heavy rain to cause any problems," said Scott Sherman, operations manager for Columbia County Emergency Management office. "All the creeks stayed within their boundaries and none of our flood-prone areas were in danger. With the funnel system breaking, it looks like we'll be clear."

The weather today is expected to be mostly cloudy with a chance of light showers. Conditions are expected to be clear Sunday and cloudy Monday. More rain is expected Tuesday, Mr. Linton said.

Staff Writer Alisa DeMao contributed to this article.