What are those things along US 17 & HWY 501; SC DOT installs flood control devices

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The State Emergency Operations Center is still operating at full force. But the focus is now on Horry and Georgetown Counties where rivers are continuing to rise.

The Department of Transportation along with the National Guard and United States Army Corps of Engineers have been installing some measures to minimize flooding and to prevent major roads from being cut off by flood waters. 

“The intent is to keep the bridges on the Waccamaw River on US 17 as long as possible,” said Pete Poore, a spokesperson for SC Department of Transportation.

The department is using an Aqua Dam. It’s a latex structure about 3-4 ft. in height and is filled with water. The water in the tube helps hold back the flood waters from overtopping the roads. 

The agencies are also putting in another measure to try and keep those roads open for resources and first responders. 

“We’re using 1 ton Hesco bags which are filled with sand, we’re using concrete barriers and we’ve covered the barriers and the bags with plastic,” added Poore. 

Lt. Col. Jeff Palazzini, district commander, with the Charleston Corps (US Army Corps of Engineers) has been working with team members to install the flood control devices. He says so far the temporary structures have been working. 

“The water is touching that wall that we assisted putting in on 501 and it’s keeping the route open. So it’s a great success story.”

The Department of Transportation says at some point the roads and bridges will still be overtopped with water, but these methods in place will help keep the roads open as long as possible for residents to evacuate and resources to be brought in.

DOT plans to add an additional 4,000 ft. of Aqua Dam on US 17 and 1500 ft on 521. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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