Third of Jasper County inmates moved to avoid weekend flooding

Third of Jasper county inmates moved to avoid weekend flooding.
(Source: Jasper County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Jasper County Sheriff's Office)

JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - The weekend storms brought a lot of rain to the Lowcountry causing major flooding in Jasper County, and now officials are assessing damage to the county detention center.

About a third of the inmate population had to be moved to another location due to the weekend flooding.

"I'm a large man, and for me to get on a small fishing boat, it took a lot. And I had to do it first because I had to get some of my staff to come over as well," said Arthur Benjamin, the director of the Jasper County Detention Center.

The flooding was so bad on U.S. Route 17 in South Carolina where the detention center is located that employees couldn't get in or out.

Several staffers traveled by boat, but as a safety precaution, they also transported inmates, starting with a woman who was 39-weeks pregnant.

"I removed the remaining females to Beaufort. I removed a certain amount of general population males to a certain location as well," Benjamin said.

Currently, about a third of the inmates are at other locations.

"I know we have some water damage in some of the cell areas, housing units as well, and once that's taken care of then at the earliest convenience, we'll try to transfer all of the inmates back to the detention center," Benjamin said.

Benjamin also helped two people who were stuck in the parking lot. He said he will do the same in the future and move everyone if need be to keep everyone safe. He thanked his staff and surrounding agencies for helping make the transfer a smooth process.

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