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Flood Report: A look at Galivants Ferry as the river rises

Man builds wall around his home to protect it from rising Carolina floodwaters

Rodney Hyman's home was badly damaged by flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. This time around, he decided to use his construction skills to build an eight foot wall of dirt around his home to protect it from Hurricane Florence flooding.
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Rodney Hyman's home was badly damaged by flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. This time around, he decided to use his construction skills to build an eight foot wall of dirt around his home to protect it from Hurricane Florence flooding.

Rodney Hyman’s house near Galivants Ferry is hard to miss.

As the ankle-deep floodwaters run over the roads and waist-deep water sits off the road, Hyman’s home is protected by a 6-foot-deep moat and 8-foot-high dirt mound all around his house.

“I’m pretty concerned,” Hyman said of the anticipated flooding. “I’ve done all I can do.”

The Hyman family started on Sept. 11 before Hurricane Florence moved into the area and used an excavator over two days to fortify the home. They decided to tackle the project because floodwaters from the Little Pee Dee River damaged their home along Gunters Lake Road two years ago during Hurricane Matthew.

If the forecasts are correct, and the Little Pee Dee doesn’t exceed record levels seen during Hurricane Matthew, Hyman said he believes his house will be spared any flooding.

But he wasn’t taking any chances.

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Rodney Hyman had to rebuild his home hear Galivants Ferry after floodwaters from Hurricane Matthew caused extensive damage two years ago. This time, he used an excavator to build an eight foot tall wall of dirt around his home to protect it from the Pee Dee River. Travis Heying The Wichita Eagle

The wall of dirt was holding up well with only minor leaks, Hyman said.

Dozens of neighbors in the Galivants Ferry area of Horry County spent Tuesday preparing for the predicted flooding. High waters are expected in the Little Pee Dee, area swamps and Gunter Lake this weekend.

At Gunter Lake, the Ambrose family worked outside to prepare their property for possible flooding. They cut grass to prevent snakes from hiding there as floodwaters eventually recede and moved cars and machines out of the way.

During Hurricane Matthew the waters came up to the bottom of a house. A couple of inches more would have done damage inside.

“Well, we got time. Last time it was coming like six inches in an hour,” Audrey Ambrose said.

This time the flood waters are slowly rising, which gives the family days to prepare.

Audrey and Robert Ambose fled the rising floodwaters of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. This time, they've spend the week preparing for Hurricane Florence's floodwaters and are prepared for whatever they may bring.

Audrey said she planned to flee to dry land before the flood waters reach their peak. Her husband Robert and their son planned to stay on the lakefront, though they have a boat they can use if they need to evacuate.

The Ambrose family has lived on the property for more than 60 years, so they know the lake and the water, they said. Audrey joked that 30 years living on the lakefront property has hardened her about the threat of flood waters.

Before Hurricane Florence impacted the area, there were only a few inches of water in Gunter Lake. By Tuesday, those waters rose more than 10 feet and the family expects about 4 more feet. If it peters out at about 14 feet, their property will be spared damage from the floods as the homes sit on a bit of a hill.

Though the family knows the area, there is still some concern about what is to come.

“We don’t know; we’re just getting prepared,” Audrey Ambrose said.

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