Authorities in Orangeburg rescue family from home surrounded by water

Authorities rescue family of three to near Branchville Tuesday morning. (courtesy - Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office)

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC – Officers with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Orangeburg County Emergency Services, Branchville and Rowesville fire departments pulled a family of three to safety near Branchville Tuesday morning. The family was surrounded by waters overflowing from the North Edisto River.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said OCSO deputies remain on patrol Tuesday helping residents or motorists where needed, as in the case of a Branchville family. And while some of the record levels of overflow are receding in some places, dangerous waters remain.

“Please continue to stay home if all possible because many of our roads are in bad condition and bridge conditions remain uncertain,” he said. “We are continuing to patrol and inspect our roadways to provide a route in the event of, say, a medical emergency. But we stress that you should stay home and avoid travel.”

Ravenell said Orangeburg  County is the second largest county in the state 1,100 square miles that has county roads used by many motorists to reach other destinations, including Columbia and Charleston.

“These roads now should be considered dangerous, and attempting to travel them could even result in a tragedy,” he said, “so again please be extremely careful, if you must travel at all.”

There are also many back roads used by locals as short cuts to get across the county that have sustained heavy damage.

“I can’t emphasize it enough, these short cuts are not safe,” Ravenell said.

The sheriff said the OCSO is working closely with all of our emergency personnel in Orangeburg County and the state.

“We’re continuing to monitor the roadways and bridges throughout the county,” the sheriff said. “But at this time, we’re still recommending everyone stay home.”

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