Bryan County received a massive amount of rain on Saturday, with a seemingly constant downpour literally putting a damper over the holiday weekend. This had both positive and negative effects on the area.
On the downside, numerous streets and some homes were faced with flood waters.
On the upside, the rain has greatly helped with the ongoing drought conditions.
Bryan County Emergency Services Director Jim Anderson said the county was classified as being in a drought and the weekend weather helped in that area.
He said he has yet to receive official word from the national weather service on whether or not the heavy rain pulled Bryan County out of the drought, but it is a distinct possibility.
Flash flood warnings were issued from Saturday through Sunday afternoon for the county, but authorities said the rain didn’t create any major problems.
Many roadways in neighborhoods throughout Richmond Hill suffered from high water, forcing alternate roads to be sought out. Pembroke seemed to have gone relatively unaffected though, according to Pembroke Police Chief Bill Collins.
"A few secondary streets had some issues due to the heavy rain," said Collins. "Overall, it wasn’t too bad though. After the city flooded three years ago, the city has really kept up with drainage issues, and this weekend was proof of that."
Rabbit Hill Road was one of the more affected areas. Rabbit Hill resident Wayne Jackson said his home was safe, but the roads leading up to his home were flooded as well as his neighbor’s house. He said there are several ponds in the area that flood during heavy rain and overpower the county drainage system near Hwy. 144 that supports the area. He added he is hopeful this will change when the Hwy. 144 is widened.
Rushing Street resident John Duncan reports water being knee-deep in his neighborhood. "The front of the subdivision was horrible on Saturday night," said Duncan. "All you could see was standing water and the median, which looked like an island."
Another local man reports seeing kids floating through the streets of Main Street on inflatable rafts and innertubes on Sunday morning.
The Bryan County Sheriff’s Department reports there were some spinouts due to water on the roadways, but none leading to accidents. There were also many reports of automobiles that stalled out due to driving into standing water.
"There were areas of bad ponding, but signs were put out by the D.O.T., which I think helped avoid any major accidents," said BCSD Capt. Mike Maxwell.
Richmond Hill Police Chief Billy Reynolds said the city received numerous reports of flooded streets and water damage to vehicles, but there were no injuries or damaged homes reported within the city limits.
Anderson said there were instances of stranded motorists in the Richmond Hill area Saturday night and noted flooded roads were occurring in most of the subdivisions east of I-95. But the sun was shining by Labor Day morning.
On Tuesday, Anderson said the county had made it through the wet weekend without any major problems. "Around Belfast got 12 inches and here in Pembroke we got six inches. We had some low lying flooding like we usually do, but everybody was pretty much safe," he said.
Anderson added there may be more extreme weather coming our way as this is hurricane season.
"There is a system coming from the east right now, but let’s hope it stays there," said Capt. Maxwell.