In some of the most flood prone areas of the Upstate, neighbors and city officials are already bracing for heavy rain.
In Maudlin, where flood waters nearly destroyed a neighborhood in 2013, they have been proactive to ensure damage is minimal and relief is accessible.
“You’re kind of afraid. You don’t know whether the trees are going to go this way or that way if another [flood] comes,” said Mauldin resident, Deborah Arnold.
Arnold knows flooding and the damage it can do. Two summers ago, her backyard along Gilder Creek looked more like a lake.
“It came up just about here,” said Arnold, pointing to her mid thighs. “It sounds like a roaring river because it comes down [stream].”
It was July and heavy rain pummeled Mauldin, dumping nearly 5 inches on the city in less than two hours. It sent the creek bed into overdrive, gutting some homes and causing millions in damages. Arnold said she was lucky. She didn’t have to leave, but the water got very close.
“It was inches. Had it come just a little bit more…because it was up…it was up,” said Arnold, pointing to just below her door frame.
Now, with the threat of heavy rain looming from Hurricane Joaquin, Arnold is praying hard it’ll miss them.
“Flooding and the destruction of homes and their personals…it’s just a horror. So, I’m hoping we don’t have to go through 2013 again,” said Arnold.
The aftermath of that flooding is still evident in Arnold’s neighborhood. Homes sit abandoned. It’s prompted the city of Mauldin to make some major changes on how they handle the rising flood waters.
“We are doing more oversight and inspection of our flood prone areas,” said Trey Eubanks, Mauldin City Administrator.
In addition to proactive clearing of ditches and pipes, Eubanks said Mauldin worked with Greenville County to develop a ‘hazard mitigation plan,’ which essentially sets up local and state municipalities with guaranteed FEMA assistance in a streamlined emergency response plan. It’s basically making the city FEMA friendly.
With more rain coming this weekend, it’s a safeguard to make sure citizens like Deborah Arnold can rest a little easier.