St. Helena neighbors on flooded dirt roadways push for county repairs

A night and day of steady rain brings a renewed effort from some St. Helena neighbors to seek road repairs from Beaufort County.

Several dirt roads off of Seaside Road in St. Helena, like Ladson Road, flood when the rains come, and are left with pot holes and clogged storm drains.

Reverend Jack Ladson has been pushing for the county to pave Ladson Road and clean the ditch out by his road for years, he says. Ladson says he’s been laying gravel and filling holes by hand for years, but is elderly at 81 years old.

“It’s like a pond when it rains. If you get two days of rain this road is just like a little pond,” Ladson says. “The ditch is clogged up, and then the road is full of water…and it’s hard to travel when you’re driving in water.”

“Right now, from say, Coleman Road to Folly Road on Seaside [Road], the rain we had in October has over-flooded because the ditches are clogged up,” he says.

Ladson appeared before Beaufort County Council to ask for help. He says he has also met with County Administrator Gary Kubic, and has had neighbors petition to allow crews onto their property, since the roads are private.

Kubic says crews have assessed the roads, and find them not of merit for county fixes. He says fire and EMS teams study the road, and asses them for fixes based on public safety; since their vehicles could get down the road, they find the roads safe.

Ladson still hopes there can be more done to help.

“We feel like we are let down by the county, because we are paying tax for something that we are not getting [service] for,” he says.

Kubic says there are several private dirt roads across Beaufort County that applied for a one-time emergency repair made by the county. So far, 29 requests have been filed, 12 approved and 17 denied, based on the public safety standards and county funds.

He says neighbors can donate their road to the county, for the county to consider paving, but many are not willing to do that.

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