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Flood Damage Forest Acres / Dentsville: 11 October 2015   1 comment

Posted at 2:07 am in closing

Hopefully I can add some commentary tomorrow, but for now I just want to get these pictures out there.

UPDATE 16 October 2015: Ok, I was under the weather for a few days, but let me add a little text here now.

First, I am happy to say that even as these pictures were taken, on Sunday 11 October 2015, recovery work was in full stride. All the flooded and gutted buildings on Forest Drive had evidence that of ongoing work and cleanup, and I noticed today (15 October 2015) that the Garden Center in Forest Lake Shopping Center was once again stocked and open for business.


Rockbridge is a road I generally take several times a week as a cut-through from Trenholm Road to Percival Road and the I-77 interchange at Decker. Interestingly (or not) I always thought until recently that it ran all of that distance, but in fact, it turns into Northshore Road somewhere in the middle. Growing up in the area, the most famous thing about Rockbridge was the Rockbridge Country Club (still there) which had (I believe) the only ice rink in Columbia. As you can see in these pictures, the culvert where the road croses over Spring Lake has been totally washed out.

Forest Lake Shopping Center:

I have actually seen Forest Lake Shopping Center flooded several times, most recently on Christmas Day 2009, but also not too many years before that. The sign by the property now says simply Flood Hazard Area, but I'm pretty sure it used to reference "100 Year Flood Level". I guess they finally figured it was happening too often for that.

The garden center occupies the old drive through lanes and the drive-through teller kiosks of the old Commercial Bank & Trust building. As such, it is mostly an outside area, and as I noted above, they are already back in operation. The framing shop (who have done excellent work on a number of my photos), gallery and book store which is in the old bank main building looks to have fared less well, and will need extensive work.

As you can see here, the parking lot between Coplon's and the old playground/park was still flooded, with enough depth to come halfway up a waste bin.

Coplon's, in the old Colonial building looks as though it must be a total loss inside.

Zoe's Kitchen:

Forest Lake Fabrics:

Corma's / Ed Robinson:

Pavlovich Ballet School:

Forest Lake Shopping Center again:

Covenant Road in Ravenswood:

This area now has a huge sinkhole where the parking lot and road have been undercut. Fortunately it doesn't seem to have gotten as far as the old Piggly Wiggly building, and Dollar General continues in uninterrupted operation there. The native wildlife seems to be taking things in stride..

Decker Boulevard:

To me, these were the most incredible images. I can hardly imagine how bad things must have been to sweep up cars like that. It seems ironic now that when the old Zorba's building was bought up by the county for demolition I was fairly adamant in my opinion that that area never flooded..

I believe that as of 16 October 2015, Decker is once more open.

Two Notch in Dentsville:

This former Hess station had just re-opened as a Cheap Way after being vacant for many years. They only got a few months of operation in before being flooded out.

This Sansbury Eye Center recently moved to Beltline: Just in time, as things turned out..

O'Neil Court:

Two Notch at Columbia Mall:

Cary Lake on Trenholm:

I have actually seen this lake drawn down this low before. There was some sort of maintenance a decade or so ago, but of course that was done on purpose, and could be easily undone. Now I suspect it will be a while before we see this lake full again. The birds do seem to be enjoying it however. I'm not sure where the sink came from. A woman walking by who stopped to look with me suggested it might be someone's fish sink from a dock, and that seems as good a guess as anything.

UPDATE 21 March 2016 -- Work has started on Zoe's and Forest Lake Fabrics (with "work" meaning "a complete gutting" in the later case):




UPDATE 17 May 2016 -- It looks like work on the Rockbridge Road bridge is progressing:



UPDATE 25 May 2016 -- Zoe's Kitchen, right on the banks of Gills Creek is open again:


UPDATE 14 June 2016 -- Rockbridge Road is open again, yay!






One Response to 'Flood Damage Forest Acres / Dentsville: 11 October 2015'

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  1. Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2015 16:44:09 +0000
    Author: Rick

    To put things in perspective, that is a 400lb African Lion standing next to the wash out in the very 1st picture.

    I'd bet ServePro is having a good month.

    And when asked what all did the flood wash away?
    Tell them everything, including the kitchen sink.

    Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2015 21:03:22 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    I'd be willing to bet that the animal in the pic Rick referenced is smaller than an African Lion...

    I'm willing to bet that Belfor is calling in extra help because the need is so strong.

    I noted along Forest Drive today that Forest Lake Fabrics, ZoC+'s Kitchen as well as Coplons and Schiano's look like they have a fair amount of rebuilding to do under them...Talbot's looks like they're back in business though becuase they're a little higher. Trenholm Plaza looks to be (mostly) back in business but the Forest Drive entrances are closed off...

    I'd like to see how Rosewood Crossing and the various outparcels fair...the good thing is that the stretch of Devine Street is now open it's just a matter of seeing how PetSmart, Marshall's, Micheal's, Subway, Labrasca's and a few others along Ft. Jackson Blvd. (leading up to Cross Hill Market) can get back in business.

    Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2015 22:18:51 +0000
    Author: Rick

    Today I went down the stretch of Devine that Andrew referenced. I was quite surprised to see it open again because I had tried to travel that portion of Devine several times since the flood and thought it was closed because the bridge over Gills Creek had been damaged. I guess it just took this long for whoever to determine the bridge is safe.

    Anyway, I'm happy to see it open again. The thing I have noticed since the flood is how bad traffic is anywhere I try to go. It is difficult to believe that there are that many road closings to cause so much traffic on the main through fares.
    Out Garners Ferry Road just past the Wal-Mart Super Center, traffic at 4:30p was backed up more than I have ever seen it in all my years on this side of town.

    I received an emergency phone call message from the City of Columbia yesterday (10-14-15) that said the boil water advisory had been lifted for my area. I was perplexed that the message started out by saying "This is an emergency notice from the City of Columbia" and what I mean by that is, I would think it would be an emergency if a boil water advisory was going into effect, which I never received a call saying that but, an emergency call saying it was lifted or "Repealed" as they stated. I would think the emergency call would come out when a boil water advisory was issued. Not when "Repealed".
    Our tax dollars at work.

    Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2015 03:44:20 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    My WIS app on my phone had a plethora of alerts for this...between this and getting lost in a daze of the news coverage thereof and I don't remember getting an alert for the full repeal...In the last 6 months the 3 biggest events that have triggered a bunch of alerts were the Mother Emmanuel AME Church shooting, the Officer Alia shooting and this flooding that can be ultimately tied into Hurricane Joquain.

    I haven't heard of a call to inform you of a boil water advisory being imposed or lifted but I agree with Rick that it's more logical to do an emergency call for the imposition vs. the repeal. But then again the advent of smartphones makes it where people could just as easily get alerts that way vs. a recorded phone call.

    Now it's all I can do to pray that people can do what they can to rebuild and see what church family has banded together to do some stuff for different areas that I've been able to have a hand in the process of.

    Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2015 19:27:42 +0000
    Author: Ann

    As of noon 10/16/15, Decker is still closed at 0'Neil court. Crews were working there.

    Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2015 04:10:37 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Let me relate to you a couple of stories of past floods that came from my Grandfather and Dad.

    If anyone was walked the riverfront and went under the Gervais Street bridge you can see the remnants of the footings for the old bridge that spanned the river until sometime in the 20's. The old bridge was noticeably lower than the current one. According to my Grandfather there was a flood 1908 where the Congaree hit somewhere around 30+ feet at Gervais St. He said that the bridge was built of steel with wooden planks bolted to them for a roadway. At the height of the flood you could still walk across the bridge (if you had the cojones to) as the water was up to the bottom of the planks but never covered them.

    My Dad related that there was another rain storm in 1936 which he believes was a hurricane even though there was no way to forecast such a thing back then. Mind that this was only a few years after the completion of the Lake Murray dam. Dad said that it rained so much and so fast that the water was beginning to crest over the top of the dam. They only had the original small gates on the spillway and they were unable to keep up with the amount of water that was falling into the lake. There was even talk, for a brief time, of blasting a hole in the dam to relieve the pressure. Luckily the rain subsided before this was deemed necessary. After this event SCE&G enlarged the spillway and added the large gates and started the first of several height increases to the top of the dam.

    So this past event, as awful as it was, was not the first time Columbia has survived such an ordeal. And, one day, it will happen again.....

    Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2015 05:58:58 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Here is a link to a picture of the Gervais St. bridge during the 1908 flood...

    Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2015 14:09:26 +0000
    Author: Rick

    I've noticed in the early 20th century most men wore hats, wonder what was up with that?
    Inability to care for hair?
    A lack of good home hair care products?
    Easier to pop on a hat than wash of groom ones hair?
    Maybe it was just in style to wear a hat.

    Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2015 16:18:40 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Heck, I still throw on a baseball cap if I don't feel like washing my hair.

    Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 09:04:22 +0000
    Author: Joe Shlabotnik

    One of those guys looked like Buster Keaton in his pork pie hat.

    Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 11:38:01 +0000
    Author: Beth

    I haven't ventured over that way...yet. Did my favorite Tuesday Morning (Forest Drive) survive?

    Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 13:17:55 +0000
    Author: JB

    Yes, Tuesday Morning has remained open although I think they had some damage b/c contractors have been there each time I've happened to drive by. But they had a large sign they put out to let everyone know they were open.

    Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 23:10:03 +0000
    Author: Gary

    Leesburg road opened last weekend. Should help with the traffic on Garners Ferry Never saw it as bad as it was last week

    Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 19:36:24 +0000
    Author: badger

    Here's the story of the car that climbed the tree on Decker:!/photo.php?fbid=10153725550153307&set=a.10150183488213307.324016.521368306&type=3

    Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 20:36:24 +0000
    Author: ted

    Wow, just wow!

    Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 23:54:42 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    The establishments along Forest Drive that looked the most underwater when I was along that stretch earlier this week:

    - Zoe's Kitchen
    - Forest Lake Fabrics
    - Schiano's

    Coplon's bears watching as well but it didn't seem as bad in the aftermath of the aforemtioned.

    I'm curious to see how Rosewood Crossing is fairing in the aftermath.

    Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 00:57:23 +0000
    Author: Rick

    FEMA came to my house yesterday to evaluate the damage I incurred. They were here for 2.5 hours, checked all the damage and said they would be back in touch soon.
    I can only say at this time I hope they will help me with the cost to repair, or I'm going to be pissed.
    If our government can send billions of dollars to foreign countries with people that want to kill us, they damn well better be able to help me with a few thousand dollars.

    Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 03:07:46 +0000
    Author: Gary

    Rick they came to My house in Eastover last Sunday. Got an E-mail today that the checks in the mail

    Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 03:44:55 +0000
    Author: Sidney

    I heard and please correct me if the person that told me is wrong, that FEMA checks are a LOAN not just a handout (can't think of a better word to call it) and they have to be paid back.

    Does anyone know about this? Not that I need it. I didn't have any damage to my house or cars. I'm just curious.

    Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 16:20:14 +0000
    Author: badger

    From what I read--and I'm in no way an authoritative source--that FEMA is not allowed to assist homes managed by HOAs, and people who lived in neighborhoods managed by a HOA who also received FEMA money have to pay it back since they were not legally entitled to it. There may be other conditions where that kicks in, too, but that's the one that I recall reading about.

    Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:32:38 +0000
    Author: Rick

    As I stated in my comment on 10-20-15, FEMA came to my house this past Monday 10-19-15. Today is Wednesday and FEMA has already direct deposited money into my checking account for the damages I incurred from the flood.
    I called the FEMA help line and asked if I would be required to pay back the money I received as Sidney suggested, the answer is "NO".
    All I can say is DAMN, two days later I have the money...
    Finally, my government at work.

    Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:39:10 +0000
    Author: Rick

    By the way, I saw on WIS News today that 1500 request have been made to FEMA for assistance from South Carolina,
    and that FEMA has already paid out to 110 of the request.
    I must be one of the 110.

    Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2015 03:34:14 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    I was riding down Two Notch yesterday (10-20) and noted the row of businesses such as Nick's, Captain D's, the Cheap Way between Parklane and O'Neil Court was still out of commission...

    Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2015 03:03:27 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    The State is reporting that Forest Lake Gardens lease is being terminated and people have started a petition to urge First Citizens Bank to get them to stay where they are...


    15 Oct 15 at 4:44 pm

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