Martinez Neighborhood Hit Hard By Storm Damage

Martinez Neighborhood Hit Hard By Storm Damage (Image 1)

One of the hardest hit areas from Monday
night's storms was in Columbia County, specifically the Barrington
neighborhood.  Crews spent hours trying
to repair a sinkhole, while neighbors spent the day cleaning up damage to their
property.  WJBF News Channel 6's Barclay
Bishop has more.

“It's absolutely amazing,
I'm thinking we're trapped,” said Dick Seif, Trapped from driving out of
his neighborhood due to the sinkhole blocking the road he lives on.

There's no *thinking*
they're trapped, Monday morning, Dick Seif and more than 12 homeowners in his
Barrington neighborhood truly were.

“Well, we knew we had
an issue.  We came in and we saw that we
had a hole in the road, we had asphalt missing, dirt missing,” said Matt
Schlachter, Director of Construction and Maintenance for Columbia County.

Columbia County crews
worked through the heat and humidity, trying to repair this huge hole caused by
a damaged pipe underground, all thanks to Monday's overnight flash flooding.

“Could have been a
lot worse, we're very thankful no one fell in the hole, we're very thankful no
cars came through in the middle of the night and dropped out of sight,”
said Schlachter.

Just around the corner, others
were dealing with problems of their own, especially near the neighborhood's
retention pond.

“I didn't know there
was any damage, until I looked,” said Tony Marsella, who suffered damage
to his backyard from the storm. “I mean it was unbelievable, never seen
anything like it.”

Tony Marsella described to
us what he saw.

“The pond came up
about 6 feet and it came up over my retaining wall here,” said Marcella.  “We took some of the trash out already but it
dumped all of that dirt from the pond onto my lawn.”

We found Tony's neighbor,
Jim Havlick, out cleaning up as well after this playhouse in his backyard moved
nearly 10 feet.

“The water must have
picked it up and floated it over, as well as all of the wood that came all the
way from that fence, it's about 50 yards away and it came all the way over here,”
said Jim Havlick, whose property was damaged by the storm.

Maybe most dramatic in
these backyards was this:

“I looked across the
way and I see my neighbor and I see his dock is up on his next door neighbor's
property,” said Marsella.

Just another sign of the damage
done from the heavy rain, rain that could have been much worse.

“I'm glad the good
Lord let us sleep through it because you get up in the middle of the night, can
you image seeing 6 feet coming out of the pond? It would scare the living daylight's
out of you,” said Marsella.

Crews say they will begin investigating
how the pipe was actually damaged so they can make permanent repairs,
preventing this from happening again.

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