Take a look at our brand new fire pit! Designed and built by members Alex Paris, Elizabeth Paris and Tom Keckeisen, it is beautiful and will be so wonderful on chilly days and nights at the ‘Wood.

Come celebrate the holiday season on Sunday, December 11 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and toast a marshmallow over the fire! Bring the kids – it’ll be fun and tasty! Beer, wine, sodas and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Hope you can make it!

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Another Flood? You’ve Got to be Kidding!!!

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, a month and 6 days after the devastating flood that rocked our world, Tommy Rayfield arrived at Murraywood at 9:00 a.m. to discover that the facility had flooded AGAIN! The hard courts were covered with mud, the shed was a wreck, and waterlines indicated that the floodwaters had been up 4 to 5 feet, almost level with Courts 7 & 8.

"Uh, oh," thought Tommy, as he opened the shed. "This isn't right."
“Uh, oh,” thought Tommy, as he opened the shed. “This isn’t right.”


All of Sean and Anne’s new balls were ruined. The tractor was flooded. The brand new refrigerator was on its side, mud stained, possibly ruined.

Investigation revealed that the new flood had been about 5′ high on Court #1:

Sean is about 6' tall. The water mark on the windscreen is almost to his shoulder.
Sean is about 6′ tall. The water mark on the windscreen is almost to his shoulder.

Check out the other water marks:

3 to 4 feet high on the shed.
3 to 4 feet high on the shed.

Check out the water meter cover outside Courts 7 & 8:

CleanUp Time

We already knew how to clean the hard courts the hard way. It took 20-30 volunteers two full days to get the mud off last time. This time, we called the Irmo Fire Department who had offered to help us out with fire hoses after the October flood. The City of Columbia was so overwhelmed at that time that we couldn’t obtain the necessary water meter to take advantage of the Fire Department’s generosity. This time, we got a meter from Aqua Pool Care (fantastic company!) and the Fire Department came out right away. Time to clean the courts!

Sean now has a backup career: Fireman!
Sean now has a backup career: Fireman!
Ronny Christie can be a fireman too!
Andrea Creighton and Jeannie Watson assist, but also had turns operating the big hose!
Andrea Creighton and Jeannie Watson assist, but also had turns operating the big hose!

So when is CSX going to fix the malfunctioning culverts that are causing us this woe? Can anyone help us? C’mon, CSX! DO THE RIGHT THING! FIX THE CULVERTS!

Rawls Creek Culvert

Was the Rawls Creek Flooding Avoidable?

by Philip D. Watson, Ph.D.

Deep flooding along Rawls􏰀s Creek has ruined many homes in the Coldstream subdivision. The primary cause was, of course, the heavy rain over many days, but why was Rawls Creek so affected when Koon Creek, which runs into Rawls Creek near Bush River Road, was not?

It has been suggested that the release of water from the Lake Murray dam caused a backup of water but if that were true, Koon Creek would have backed up too.

Rawls-Creek-CulvertThere is good evidence that flooding was caused by the lack of capacity of culverts in a railroad embankment. The railroad that carries coal to the McMeekin power station at Lake Murray runs on a 30 foot high embankment that completely seals off the Rawl􏰀s Creek valley. It stretches from the grade crossing at Wilton Hill east to the tennis club at the end of Cedarbrook Drive. Rawl􏰀s Creek passes through two steel culverts in the embankment. These culverts are badly damaged. See the picture taken 10/13/2015. The steel lining is bent, significantly blocking the entrance of water. This damage might have been caused by the recent storm, or it might have been there before.

When the culverts cannot handle the flow, the water builds up on the upstream side creating a large lake. It was this lake that flooded the houses on Wilton Hill . From the water mark on the bath house at the Murraywood Swim and Racquet club, it can be shown that water level of this lake reached 204􏰁 above sea level. On the downstream side of the embankment, the water almost reached the height of Bush River Road which is 189􏰀 above sea level. This 15􏰀 foot difference clearly indicates the flooding was caused by the restriction to flow at the culverts, not by water backing up from the river.

A similar flood occurred in 1987. What can be done to prevent a third flood with the next hurricane? In the short run, the culverts must be repaired and soon. With the folded steel across the entrance, the culverts are very prone to more complete blocking by tree limbs and debris and this would cause even deeper flooding.

It is reasonable to ask when the culvert was last inspected and who is responsible. It could be CSX, SCANA or Lexington County who has this responsibility.

In the long run, removing part of the embankment would be a more reliable solution. When McMeekin switches from coal to natural gas fuel in 2016, will SCE & G still need the railroad and the embankment? If not, the obstruction to Rawl􏰀s Creek can be removed and future flooding prevented.

Clay Courts Scheduled for Re-surfacing!

MW-Strong-GoFundMeGreat news! Howard B. Jones will start the clay court re-surfacing on Monday, November 2, 2015! With luck and good weather, the job will be completed in about a week!

Har-Tru-Surfaces-21Many thanks to Sean and Tommy who’ve met with the HBJ representative several times, and really pressed to have the work done quickly. Also, thanks to Roy Gum who personally called Frank Larkin (his former doubles partner) to ask for special consideration for Murraywood. Thank you to Justin Coker, Frank Larkin and everyone at Howard B. Jones for realizing the urgency to have our courts back up and running.

And lastly, a shout out to our wonderful community, to the folks who’ve come out and helped us clean debris, to the folks who’ve donated money for repairs and to the other facilities who opened their doors to our tennis players.

Memorial Day Cookout Was Glorious!

The weather was wonderful, and our members and guests seemed to really enjoy the burgers and dogs. We couldn’t grill ’em fast enough! Many thanks to the hard-working team that ran the grill: Tony Reynolds, Bob Hawsey, Doug Smith, Brad Hawkins, and Tom Keckeisen. And Walter George oversaw quality control by sampling several of the products right off the grill. We couldn’t have done it without you guys! Thank you!

And many thanks to our Membership Committee, Katherine Keckeisen and Mary Ann Lane, who manned the front desk all day. And to Katherine again for taking these awesome photos. Summer is here!!!

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News From the Pool!

Everyone is anxiously awaiting news about the pool, and here it is!

Important links:
Pool Calendar for Summer 2015
Pool Rules

We will open at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22nd and remain open through 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 25th, Memorial Day. Like last year, we will be having a Member-Guest Cookout on Saturday, May 23rd. Members can bring guests at no charger, and the traditional Murraywood Cookout fare will be served at 1:00 p.m. Guests and members must pay to eat, but no entrance guest fee will be charged. Like always, the $5 per person, $20 per family fee will make it easy and affordable to eat.

We have been super busy doing deck repairs. This old pool is definitely showing some signs of age. However, we are very lucky to have Louis and Sue Biles, our swim coaches, who are knowledgeable and helpful, and are assisting in all maintenance areas. Yay!

Re-strapping chairs continues as well.

Family Movie Night in the Pool will be held on Saturday, June 13th. The movie to be presented has yet to be selected. We are putting together a focus group of youngsters who will be picking the movie title. The focus groups will meet on Sunday, May 17, and we will announce the movie on Monday, May 18th.

Save the Date! Casino Night, March 27!

Craps-TableJoin us in the Clubhouse on Friday, March 27th for our annual Casino Night. It starts at 7:00 p.m. and runs until 10:30 p.m., at which time you can turn in your chips for chances to win prizes. This year, two top prizes of a $150 membership credit will be awarded!

Admission is $15 per person, and includes two drink tickets, chips for the games and snacks.