Tuesday, August 28, 2012

People take to flooded streets in kayaks, air mattresses

Please don't do this, you guys

Posted by Paul Bowers on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 3:45 PM

When a heavy downpour hit Charleston today, many downtown streets flooded — no big surprise there. But this time, a few people saw the rivers of rainwater, trash, and horse urine and decided to go for a row.

  • Courtesy of Charles Merry

Well, whatever floats their boat.

Jonah Jeter, a partner at a public relations firm off of King Street, says he saw a few different people paddling by today, and some of them paused for photo opportunities. Pictures showed a few shoppers and merchants standing knee-deep in water in the City Market at midday. "I'm not a water expert, but I can imagine the Market's not the cleanest," Jeter says.

In the early afternoon, event planner Camille Key was working from home at her apartment on Morris Street when she saw some of her neighbors floating by in an inflatable raft.

  • Courtesy of Camille Key

"Now they're in air mattresses going down the street, so I'll make sure I snap another picture," she said over the phone.

"Now all of a sudden everybody else is getting the idea, and they're just coming out of the houses and getting in anything that floats," Key said. She noted that she lives in a neighborhood with a lot of college students.

Todd Curran, owner of SAVAGEultimate (and the City Paper's downstairs neighbor) decided to try his hand at surfing the traffic-waves on Morrison Drive and Romney Street.

No word yet from Charleston police on whether any of this is illegal — or dangerous — but city ordinances do prohibit "any person upon roller skates, in-line skates, skateboards, or any coaster, toy scooter, motorized toy vehicle, or similar device" from traveling on streets where the speed limit is more than 25 mph. We haven't found anything specifically prohibiting kayaks and air mattresses yet, but it's still probably a bad idea.

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