The group of houses and trailers near Peachtree Landing in Socastee is now an island.
Greg Terry and a group of his neighbors finished constructing a 12-foot moat around their homes Tuesday afternoon, and floodwaters had already brought the Waccamaw River about 2 feet from reaching the top of it on all sides.
The moat wasn’t finished in time to save one of the dozen houses in the area, which was breached with several feet of water.
Terry, after just helping one of his neighbors move some items out of their home, said he’d been working on the moat for about 30 hours during the past couple days.
“There’s no more digging to do,” he said, explaining they hit clay underneath the dirt.
Terry said his house is high enough that it likely wouldn’t flood even without the moat, but he wanted to help his neighbors. He’s lived in the area more than 20 years, and they built a similar structure after Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
“This is way more,” he said.
Floodwaters had risen about 6 miles down Peachtree Road from where the river normally rests, and numerous homes along that stretch have several inches of sitting water in their front lawns and backyards.
The stench of sewage strengthened whenever there was a light breeze, and neighbors talked about the different wildlife they’d seen since Hurricane Florence.
Terry, taking some shotgun shells out of his pickup truck, said he and some of his neighbors were in competition to see who could shoot the most snakes. He was winning with eight, he added, grinning.
Most of his neighbors had evacuated, but he was planning to stay for the duration. The Waccamaw River is expected to crest near Conway Wednesday before slowly receding.