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Gills Creek area still feeling impacts of 2015 floods, four years later

Debris from the October floods in 2015 can still be seen in the Gills Creek Watershed four years later.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Gills Creek Watershed is still feeling impacts from the October floods of 2015.

On October 4, 2015, the Midlands was devastated after heavy rain brought a "thousand-year flood." One of the most iconic locations affected by the floods of 2015 was the Devine Street area. 

Streets and businesses like the now torn down Title Max and Subway were almost completely underwater.

RELATED: The flood of 2015: Four years later

RELATED: South Carolina's historic 2015 flood explained

Eric Goff remembers the toll it took on the Gills Creek Watershed.

“I don’t think anybody expected what we did get. A really tragic weekend for the city of Columbia,” said Goff.

From being engulfed by water, to becoming an eye-sore for years, parts of the Devine Street area have been reduced to nothing.The Devine Street area has seen lots of changes. 

“I see an environment that definitely needs some help," explained Goff. "It needs a community to stand behind it. We’re still hurting from the 2015 Flood.”

Goff is the coordinator of the Gills Creek Watershed Association. It’s a non-profit group that focuses on restoring the creek's natural environment and educating people how to protect its ecosystem.

“If you go up Gills Creek... there’s still large dumpsters, lots of debris that came from office buildings, computer monitors.”

The non-profit, along with the community, continues to cleanup the watershed four years later. The organization says they will have a clean-up project with the City of Columbia sometime over the next year.

There have been rumors of a potential redevelopment on the property where Title Max once stood but Goff thinks it being a green space would be more ideal.

“Maintaining an area so that we can naturally filter storm waters and naturally filter what goes into this creek so we don’t see these sorts of things again is really important,” said Goff.

News 19 got in contact with the developer of the former Title Max property. They say they cannot comment at this time if there are or are not any plans to develop anything on the property.    

Goff hopes no one will ever forget what happened four years ago so people will protect the environment for its future.

“It’s really important to remember that it’s here and that we maintain it and we take care of it in a way that is ecofriendly and environmentally sound so that we can avoid things like 2015,” said Goff. 

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