Perry County residents and first responders got a big reminder Wednesday on the power of water.
Thanks to Alberto, flash flooding not only forced people out of their homes but also washed away a massive chunk of a road near a school in Marion. It measures at least 60 feet across and some 20 feet deep in some places.
Hubbard Drive runs behind Francis Marion School and the collapse gave Perry County sheriff's deputy Dudley Barton the chills knowing this could have happened last week when school was still in session.
Classes are over for the summer, which means for first responders and nearby residents this is the least of their concerns.
"Obviously during the school year it's very well traveled, and it could have been a really tragic situation had it happened during school hours," Barton said.
It started as a small sinkhole and quickly grew to a massive hole over time throughout the night and this morning.
Ten miles away, Eddie McElroy could only stare at his home that was partially flooded as a result of an angry creek a few feet away.
"You look at the hood of that truck down yonder, it was all the way to the top of the hood of the truck," McElroy said.
It's now receded somewhat but leaving a muddy mess. McElroy did not have to be rescued but five other people in the county did.
"I watch a lot of news and I'm a firm believer and you think about the people who lose everything and weren't so lucky. We were.. I was expecting the worst when I drove from work from Selma and got here and feel truly blessed," McElroy said.
All in all, it truly could have been a different story. The earth swallowed part of a road. Eddie McElroy has to face a major clean-up job, but no one is complaining; just thankful they could talk about it.
In all there were 10 road washouts just in Marion in alone. Right now, city and county leaders are meeting to talk about what's needed and when to make all those road repairs.
City leaders say those who had to be evacuated stayed with neighbors until the flood waters receded. There were no reports of injuries.
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