WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — The West Columbia Riverwalk is closed after Thursday’s storms swelled the river, causing flooding in the park.
The City will close parts of the walk when heavy rains come in, but for the next few days, the entire park is closed.
Nick and Amy Montanez brought their visiting friends to the park but were disappointed when they saw it was closed.
“It’s just a beautiful spot in Columbia and I always bring visitors here because it’s beautiful! It’s a beautiful place to walk, and sit, and relax, and catch up," Amy said.
Anna Huffman with the City of West Columbia says they have to take precautions.
“Because it has flooded over the sidewalks, we have taken the precautions of turning off the electricity to the call boxes that are down there, you can’t even get to the Riverwalk at this point, its flooded over top. The only part that would be accessible at this point is the amphitheater and we expect that to be partially underwater by Sunday," Huffman continues, “There is a current and you don’t know what else is in the water just standing there and there’s no reason for anyone to be at the Riverwalk at this point.”
Huffman said in 2015, the Riverwalk flooded 32 feet and completely covered the amphitheater. They are estimating 28 feet of flooding by Sunday.
“We want the city to make this work," Amy Montanez says, "We had trouble after the big floods of course, but it’s an important part of the city. Its an important part of tourism here.”
“This is the jewel of our city," Huffman says, "We love the river walk. It is one of our best amenities and we don’t like to close it unless we absolutely have to and this is an absolutely have to… so we just encourage everyone to please stay out of the Riverwalk, the parking lot is closed, do not go down there at night, its not safe for you to go down there at night. The water is all the way up passed the sidewalk so please just stay out of the Riverwalk.”
Check back for updates on this situation.