What happened with Gills Creek during the historic rain?

Published: Oct. 9, 2015 at 7:07 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2015 at 7:38 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As folks surrounding Gills Creek begin to build anew following this weekend's record-setting and devastating floods, we're getting a good idea just how the situation deteriorated so quickly.

Mobile users, tap here to see photos of the historic flooding.

Members of the Gills Creek Watershed Association posted an update on their website, giving us the first timeline of events that lead to around 20 inches of rain causing massive flooding in the area.

  • Sometime Sunday morning around 7:30am the Cary Lake Dam AKA Arcadia Lake Dam failed. This was probably around the same time that Pine Tree Lake Dam failed (just below Windsor Lake). That surge of water rushed downstream, washing out Rockbridge Rd and overtopping the Spring Lake Dam. Forest Lake Dam and the Lake Katharine Dam were also overwhelmed and overtopped and that floodwater continued downstream along Gills Creek.
  • Also Sunday morning the Semmes Lake Dam on Wildcat Creek (on Ft. Jackson) failed. This water came down Wildcat Creek which flows through Kings Grant and meets Gills Creek just below the Lake Katharine Dam near Shady Lane and Kilbourne.
  • On Monday the Upper Rockyford Lake Dam failed sending excess water into Lower Rockyford Lake. Shortly thereafter the Lower Rockyford Lake Dam failed sending the excess water into Forest Lake. The Rockyford Lakes are much smaller than Forest Lake and by this time the Forest Lake level had dropped enough to buffer the excess water from Upper and Lower Rockyford.
  • On Tuesday there were multiple FALSE reports from news outlets that the Windsor Lake Dam had failed. The Windsor Lake Dam is fine, as is the Upper Windsor Lake AKA Parliament Lake Dam.
  • Beaver Dam (Boyd's Pond) off of Polo Road is experiencing erosion and is at risk of failing. Crews worked all day Tuesday to stabilize the dam and dug an emergency "controlled breach" around the side of the dam to alleviate pressure and move more water downstream. As of Wednesday morning, the Beaver Dam is stable and not expected to fail.
  • The Spring Lake Dam was heavily damaged during the storm. It is still holding water and as of Wednesday morning appears to be stable. The Spring Lake HOA is working to drop the lake level 6 to 12 inches per day (the maximum safe amount) until the lake has been mostly emptied.
  • Lake Katharine Dam and Forest Lake Dam appear to be in good working order.

Copyright 2015 WIS. All rights reserved.