More than a dozen people had to be evacuated from a campground in Pickens County after floodwaters swamped the narrow valley Monday.
Pickens County deputy emergency management director Pierce Womack said Vineyards Fire Department firefighters had been telling campers at Eastatoe River RV Park to leave when the water rose too quickly to them to drive out.
“While the firefighters were attempting to help these folks gather their things, belongings, and load up to get the campers out of there, the water level started rising very rapidly,” Womack said. “It cut off their access point into the campground.”
Womack said swiftwater rescue crews had to be called in to ferry the campers out by boat. All the campers were safely evacuated as the water reached up to four feet deep in some sites, he said.
Womack said the campground off Cleo Chapman Highway near the Sunset community has flooded in the past, but not this badly. A Vineyards fire department gauge recorded 4 inches of rain on Monday, he said. The National Weather Service rainfall models showed 6 inches had fallen further up in the mountains from Eastatoe over the previous 24 hours.