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Ongoing coverage of South Carolina's recovery from the flooding of 2015.What had been Lindsay Langdale's Columbia home October 3, 2015 was a flooded ruin the next day.This coverage is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In October of 2015, South Carolina received rainfall in unprecedented amounts over just a few days time. By the time the rain began to slacken, the National Weather Service reported that the event had dumped more than two feet of water on the state. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the subsequent flooding was the worst in 75 years.

D.O.T. is On Target with Road, Bridge Re-openings

Progress has been surprisingly rapid on road and bridge re-openings since the October floods in South Carolina. SC Department of Transportation spokesman Pete Poore says of 541 roads and bridges that were closed statewide on Oct. 5, only 80 remain to be opened.

Poore says that the agency's efforts to put workers on the ground while the rains were still coming down helped give it a head start on recovery. "I think we were as prepared as we could be, as an agency, and I think that paid off."

Another key factor was the help provided by less affected counties to those most in need. Poore says, “As they got their business taken care of they were able to spare people to come to…the central part of the state.”

The South Carolina Department of Transportation reports that 85% of the roads and bridges closed during the floods have been reopened, and more are expected to open soon. Poore says that, while progress has been so good so far, the last of the damaged bridges, as well as roads across dams that D.O.T. does not own, may take months to repair.

The graphic below, published after our interview with Poore, shows more progress: only 69 bridges and roads closed.

SC DOT Road Closings, Nov. 25, 2015.
Credit SC DOT
SC DOT Road Closings, Nov. 25, 2015.

Links to D.O.T. documents on road/bridge closings: