One Week Later: Government Agencies Continue Work on Recovery and Response Following State’s Epic Floods

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 11, 2015, 5:15 p.m.) – The State Emergency Operations Center continues around-the-clock monitoring of the flooding situation from the torrential rain that fell one week ago, and continues to coordinate the needed resources to get the state back on its feet.

The National Weather Service shows that South Carolina rivers have now crested at their river gauges.

Since Sunday, more than 1,460 people were rescued from flood waters, 769,270 meals served to survivors and 4,100 state and National Guardsmen deployed.

“South Carolina is looking at a lengthy recovery process,” said Kim Stenson, director of South Carolina Emergency Management Division.  “With the help of our local, state and federal partners, and the goodwill of volunteers and of private and corporate donors, we are making it through these difficult times.”

The following is a snapshot of flood activities:

Department of Health and Environmental Control

Those who have flooded private wells can have them tested for fecal coliform bacteria by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to be sure the water is safe to drink.  DHEC’s private well water testing offices are open in the following cities and counties:  Florence, Charleston, Aiken, Myrtle Beach, Orangeburg, Sumter and Greenwood.

DHEC is providing tetanus vaccinations through health departments and three mobile clinics at the Lexington County Library Irmo Branch in Columbia, Bloomingdale Community Center in Andrews and Williamsburg County Department of Social Services in Kingstree.  The clinics will be in Florence and Georgetown counties next week.

Department of Transportation

I-95 is closed to all traffic from Exit 119 to Exit 135.

I-95 is open to local southbound traffic only from I-26 in Orangeburg to Exit 119.

I-95 is open to local northbound traffic only from Exit 135 to I-20 in Florence.

Currently, 225 S.C.DOT roads are closed and 103 S.C.DOT bridges are closed, and DOT continues making bridge and road assessments.

State Highway Patrol

Since Sunday, Oct. 4, the State Highway Patrol has recorded 7,442 total calls for service; investigated 2,905 collisions of which eight were fatalities.

Health and Human Services

The number of shelters and occupants fluctuates from day to day.  On Oct. 11, the state was supporting 15 shelters with 374 occupants.

1.2 million liters of water have been distributed at 10 points of distribution (pods) in areas that have boil water advisories.

Department of Insurance

South Carolina Director of Insurance Ray Farmer issued an emergency order prohibiting insurance companies from canceling policies between Oct. 8 and Nov. 1, 2015, for insureds in all counties listed in the federal disaster declaration. The emergency regulation also prohibits insurers from canceling or non-renewing policies solely because of claims resulting from this catastrophic event.

Human Service Organizations

Harvest of Hope, Low Country Food Bank, the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross have been preparing hot meals for people affected by the flooding.

Southern Baptist Relief, providing debris removal, is asking for donations of five-gallon “flood” buckets with cleaning supplies.

United Way asks people with unmet needs to call 211, and they will find resources.

Those who want to volunteer or donate resources should call:  888-585-9643.

The Public Information Phone System (PIPS) call center has taken more than 11,700 calls from the public since Oct. 5.  Anyone with questions can call PIPS at (866) 246-0133.

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