EFFINGHAM, S.C. – The Lynches River and Black Creek are receding faster than the hairline of a baseball player on steroids.
The National Weather Service reported Monday afternoon that the rain moving through the Pee Dee was not expected to majorly affect the drop in flood stage of the Lynches River or Black Creek.
The river was at 16.7 feet and in moderate flood stage, according to the National Weather Service Monday afternoon. It crested at 17.95 feet Sunday afternoon according to the latest predictions of the National Weather Service. The river is expected to remain around the moderate to mild flood stage line (16 feet) until Thursday when it drops below the line.
Black Creek was at 13.7 feet and also in moderate flood stage according to the National Weather Service Monday afternoon. The creek crested at 15.95 feet on Saturday afternoon. The creek is expected to drop to the moderate/minor flood line (10 feet) by Saturday.
The Great Pee Dee River on the Florence-Marion county border crested at 26.41 feet on Sunday afternoon and is expected to recede but also to remain in moderate flood stage through Saturday.
K.G. "Rusty" Smith Jr., Florence County administrator, said the county had received 38 calls related to water over the weekend, including a rescue of someone who tried drive through water on Fork Meadow Road and someone who was kayaking on Jeffries Creek. He said most of the calls were related to Lynches River and Black Creek, because Florence sits on the bluff side of the Pee Dee, meaning the river doesn't flood in upper Florence County as much.
He also said that most of the road flooding in the county was on roads that had flooded several times before during major or minor rain events. Smith said later that a member of his staff had spoken with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and they learned that portions of three roads in the county were closed: Old Georgetown, East Friendfield Road and Center Road.
Old Georgetown Road parallels the Lynches River south of Effingham. East Friendfield Road connects with Old Georgetown near Coward. Center Road is near Timmonsville but located between two swamps.
Smith said that the rains over the past several days were evidence of increased rainfall in the county. He said from 1896 to 2010 Florence County received around an average of 43 inches of rain per year. From 2010 until now, Smith continued, the county has received an average of 48 inches per year.
Jennifer Majors, Florence County park superintendent, said Lynches River County Park was closed on Sunday because County Park Road was flooded − several roads near the park had water near them but not on them Monday morning − but she added that the park was reopened Monday because the water had receded.