South Carolina’s Department of Transportation is working to install flood barriers across U.S. Highway 17 in Georgetown in an effort to prevent the area from being cut off by expected floodwaters later this week.
However, Transportation Secretary Christie Hall warned the barriers will likely only buy time if waters do reach the forecasted levels.
“We are anticipating the city of Georgetown to flood,” she told reporters during a briefing in the Port City. “And we’re basically trying to take the construction activities as fast as we can and as far as we can to keep the road open for as long as we can in time.”
Deputy Secretary of Engineering Leland Colvin said crews are installing AquaDams along Highway 17 bridge over the Waccamaw River to raise the elevation floodwaters would need to overtop the roadway. The inflatable dams will be atop two rows of barriers.
“It’s a water-filled barrier to create additional height over the roadway to protect U.S. 17, that lifeline,” Colvin said.
Highway 17 is the primary route for residents in the Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet areas of eastern Georgetown County.
The National Guard is also erecting a temporary ferry platform to potentially move supply vehicles across the Waccamaw if the main highway becomes impassable.