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Putrid Pee Dee: Awful Odor Consumes Florence, South Carolina On Christmas Eve

“Smells like a big cat pissed on Florence …”

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Residents across Florence County, South Carolina awakened on Christmas Eve to a smell that did not bring glad tidings to their nostrils. The origin of the noxiously odiferous emanation – which many described as smelling similar to cat urine or ammonia – has yet to be determined, but citizens in neighboring counties claimed the putrid smell was permeating their air, too.

“Smells like a big cat pissed on Florence,” one resident noted.

Local officials have yet to comment on the stinky situation.

“This is the first I have heard of this so I really can’t comment,” Florence County administrator Kevin Yokim said on Sunday morning.



Residents have complained the odor is so bad it is causing nausea and headaches. They are also frustrated with the lack of information being provided by officials with both the city and county.

On Sunday afternoon – a day after the smell was first reported – Florence County councilman William Schofield addressed the situation on his social media, saying government officials were working with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) in the hopes of determining what was causing the odor.

“For a little over twenty-four hours there has been a strong odor present in and around the city limits of Florence,” Schofield wrote on Facebook. “Rest assured the city, the county and DHEC are all aware and are trying to figure out the source of it to address all of your concerns.”

Schofield promised to updated citizens when he had more information.

“Until then everyone please try and enjoy this time with all of our family and friends on this beautiful Christmas Eve,” he wrote.

Along with the putrid smell, some residents noted a heavy haze across the sky on Saturday evening – a vapor-like cloud that sat approximately twenty feet in the air.

(Click to View)

via Facebook

Social media users speculated the odor was caused by a gas leak at the TJ Maxx located at the Florence Mall. Others believed it was more likely related to issues with the sewer system given recent reports of residents experiencing brown water.

Along with government and health officials, the region’s most industrious reporter, Tonya Brown of WPDE TV-15 (ABC – Florence/ Myrtle Beach, S.C.) was also stumped.

“Some of you have reached out to me about a very bad smell, that is very noticeable over part of Florence,” Brown wrote. “I know there was a gas leak several hours ago, but I’m not sure if that is behind the smell. It may be several hours or a day or two before I can find out what smells so bad throughout the city.”

Given the widespread nature of the smell, it is unlikely it originated from a visiting relative emptying their “tenement on wheels” into the sewer system, but count on FITSNews to follow the story until the source of the elusive odor is identified.

Fortunately for children in the area, we did make contact with the North Pole and and Santa’s press secretary indicated there are no plans to adjust their Florence County delivery schedule tonight. Saint Nick and his reindeer may be forced to don gas masks during their trip through the Pee Dee, however.



Jenn Wood (Provided)

Jenn Wood is FITSNews’ incomparable research director. She’s also the producer of the FITSFiles and Cheer Incorporated podcasts and leading expert on all things Murdaugh/ South Carolina justice. A former private investigator with a criminal justice degree, evildoers beware, Jenn Wood is far from your average journalist! A deep dive researcher with a passion for truth and a heart for victims, this mom of two is pretty much a superhero in FITSNews country. Did we mention she’s married to a rocket scientist? (Lucky guy!) Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at



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Merry Xmas December 24, 2023 at 6:33 pm

Just another normal day in a Red State.

Avatar photo
Joy Gammon Top fan December 25, 2023 at 7:41 am

That is precisely the problem; the Red States don’t care.

J Monday Top fan December 25, 2023 at 1:36 pm

Hmmm, I seem to remember a water problem in Big Blue Flynt, MI….and a levy breach in Big Blue NOLA that killed many. There has also been mass destruction in recent years in Democrat run big blue cities facilitated (and not stopped) by their own people. Democrat leaders refused outside help in all of these cases. You can’t fix stupid…

Losers gonna lose December 25, 2023 at 9:12 pm

Putrid smell?

Does anyone know if Trump was having a rally nearby that day?

The orange old fart’s full diapers could be the cause?

Jean/Hugh/Other? December 26, 2023 at 8:10 am

I have said for years that South Carolina’s King and Queen of corruption, Hugh Leatherman and Jean Toal, were the same person, only one was in drag. Recently, some idiot thought it would be wise to drag Jean out of mothballs to use in the Murdaugh case. Could it be that they had to release him/her from Hugh’s tomb and opening the tomb also released the putrid smell of corruption?

Stop The Chem Trails December 26, 2023 at 8:00 am

Well, starting about Wednesday (12-20-2023), there was a lot of chem-trails being dumped on parts of South Carolina, courtesy of our wonderful Air Force. Those almost always precede rainy weather, if one bothers to notice. Not sure if it is related to the Florence issue or not.

JustCallMeAva Top fan December 26, 2023 at 12:36 pm

It’s not a chem trail, it’s the freaking exhaust of the plane.

Duh! December 27, 2023 at 2:22 pm

There are still morons who believe that silly conspiracy theory?

Everybody knows it’s the lizard people’s secret Air Force that’s based in the center of the hollow Earth that’s spreading Chen-trails!

Some people are too stupid for their own good

Willful Neglect December 26, 2023 at 8:25 am

“I seem to remember a water problem in Big Blue Flynt, MI”

That’s on Rick Snyder (i.e. Republicans) my guy.

JustCallMeAva Top fan December 24, 2023 at 10:03 pm

So here’s some backstory to all of this. The City provides water/sewer to the county part of the Florence area and they have been hit with a series of embarrassments and epic fails in terms of maintenance. They are also charging people in the county more than the people in the city for the same water/sewer service. They are also planning to use some of this increase to pay for those in the city of Florence who haven’t paid their bill in years. In fact, one of the City Council members, suggested putting all the increase on West Florence as a surcharge to pay for those who won’t pay. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, there’s a hella lot of customers in the unincorporated part of West Florence that have been the pocketbook for the City for a long time. The county handed away the water rights to the City and we have zero representation as a result of this little grift…I mean gift. So no, Kevin Yokum wouldn’t know jack about what’s going on because no one on the city is going to call him or anyone else on the County side to let them know. And the City damn sure can’t be reached on any weekend or holiday. Hell, they can’t even be reached during a regular weekday. But as exposed recently in the Post/Courier–Florence has had an ongoing problem with muddy water–seriously–sometimes it smells and tastes like it’s sewage. They keep telling everyone everything is fine while there are multiple leaks due to antiquated pipes they refuse to fix. They are, however, planning a multi-million dollar expansion to the water system so they can service a new electric battery plant coming to Florence County which will use MILLIONS gallons of water a day. No questions have been asked about how much pollution this will put in the water supply or how much worse residential service will get as a result. And now the entire city of Florence (and a lot of the county side) literally stinks and there’s no one, anywhere, coming out from City Gov’t to comment on it, except one lone council member. To say they don’t care, is an understatement. The Florence TV stations abandoned Florence long ago for Myrtle Beach so they don’t care to cover any of this. The local Florence paper is a joke. But our health and safety shouldn’t be left to the hands of people who can’t even be bothered to comment b/c it would mess up their holiday. Obviously, none of them is in Florence currently. Merry Christmas?

You’re welcome December 25, 2023 at 12:59 am

Pro tip:

If the water coming from your tap smells like sewage? Don’t taste test.

JustCallMeAva Top fan December 25, 2023 at 10:14 am

Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend that either, but there’s always that one person who landed here from Ohio and wants to test it out themselves.

You’re Welcone December 25, 2023 at 9:15 pm


Nice try, JustCallMeCholera.

Enjoy your dooky water!

JustCallMeAva Top fan December 25, 2023 at 9:18 pm

You should just like an employee of the Florence Water Dept. Explains a lot.

Stop The Chem Trails December 26, 2023 at 3:02 pm

Wrong, Ava. The exhaust disappears at a noticeable distance from the plane as it makes its way across the sky. Chem-trails just hang up there, sometimes for an hour or two. Eventually, if any white clouds are in the sky, they combine with them into a murky Grey mass that covers most or all of the sky for the rest of the day, or most of it.

Exhaust trails don’t form X’s or elaborate tic-tac-toe patterns in the sky.

Bre December 26, 2023 at 7:58 am

JustcallmeAva is exactly right! To everything she said. It’s all about WHO is in charge of our once beautiful city!

JustCallMeAva Top fan December 26, 2023 at 12:33 pm

And the water department. They won’t admit what this was because they’re terrified of ending up getting negative press once again. their first response is to deny, deny, deny and that’s not how a functioning government should work. The problem is that the majority of their customer base lives OUTSIDE the city limits and the deal the county made with the city to provide water/sewer to those in the county is that the county has zip, zilch, nada input or oversight of what they do. I’ve seen one too many leaks that have gone unfixed for months, too many complaints from neighbors about how the city claimed a leak was on the homeowners side that turned out to be on the city side, to believe for one single second that they are competent and capable of carrying out their responsibilities and duties to their customers/citizens. And that’s on top of the nasty brown dirty water that comes out of our faucets on a way too regular basis. They literally have zero idea how to run or fix anything, and as this latest debacle reveals, they are too lazy to even formulate a response or to make a press statement. No one in the city was even available to comment. They basically abandoned their jobs and responsibilities to the public so they could have their vacation days. Must be nice.

JustCallMeAva Top fan December 26, 2023 at 12:34 pm

Sound. Sound like one of their employees–that is, when they will actually answer a phone.


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