By HEATHER WALTERS
The Edisto River is surpassing its banks, sending rising waters above area boat landings and breaching over floating docks that are sitting along its banks.
As of Tuesday morning, the Edisto River has breached its minor flood stage level, creating minor flooding from Givhans Ferry throughout most of the river’s waterways in Colleton County. This means that the river has risen beyond the 8-foot-mark, which is the official marker for the minor flood stage.
According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, which is the agency that monitors the river and its flood stages, the Edisto was at 10.8 feet on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 16.
This is .8-feet higher than the “minor” flood stage. Already, the waters have broached boat landings and are cresting over some parts of its banks in Colleton and Dorchester counties.
NWS officials state that now is the time to begin warning residents who live along the Edisto River that she is rising, and to prepare for higher possible crests. According to forecast predictions by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Edisto River could reach 11.9 feet by Saturday.
“The impact … at 12 feet, most homes on Happiness Lane are accessible only by boat,” as stated by a NOAA flood warning. “Flooding also occurs along roadways south of Highway 17, including Martins Landing Road.”
Colleton County Fire-Rescue has not received any calls for assistance, as of press deadline on Tuesday. If needed, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and fire-rescue officials are able to perform water rescues of homeowners in that area.
According to the National Weather Service, officials are asked to take action when the Edisto River hits the 7-foot mark. The NWS also states that the river is considered to be in a “moderate flood zone” at 10-feet. A “major flood” begins at 11.5 feet, the NWS states.
The most recent crest of the Edisto happened on Nov. 12, 2020, when it hit 8.41 feet. Last year brought multiple “crests” of the Edisto, with the river rising above its standard of 7-feet-deep at least nine times in 2020. However, the most historic flooding event recorded along the Edisto River is when she rose to 14.7 feet. This was documented on Sept. 1, 1928.
The lowest depth ever recorded came in at .87-feet deep, on August 13 of 2002.