“When we looked at it, it was beyond words,” says Rick Benthall, Boone Hall’s director of marketing. He’s referring to the acres of land off of Highway 17, the ones that host an annual pumpkin patch and weekend fright nights. On Sun. Oct. 4 after the weekend’s storm, Boone Hall looked like what Benthall best describes as a lake. Today, he says that the water is almost all gone. “But,” he warns, “it’s wet.”
Of the tri-county area Mt. Pleasant was hit the hardest with rain, with some estimates saying that over 24 inches were recorded at Boone Hall. Maintenance crews there worked throughout the night Sunday and all day and night Monday to pump water out of the pumpkin patch, hayride, and haunted house areas of the farm. Fortunately Boone Hall already has an irrigation system in place: to get water off of the fields they just had to reverse the process, pumping water back into the plantation’s drainage ditches. As for the plantation itself — the iconic avenue of oaks included — well Benthall says that area was pretty much untouched, at least compared to the two to three feet of standing water on the pumpkin patch.
“It’s amazing when you saw the shape it was in,” says Benthall. Boone Hall will have special parking considerations, including the possibility of a shuttle to get visitors to and from the farm. Maintenance crews have also brought in sand and “other dirt” to help soak up the remaining puddles. Benthall says that the staff will first, and foremost, make sure that the grounds are safe for visitors, but as of right now, all systems are go.
Our suggestion? Throw on some boots and get out of the house.