Laura Hunsberger


Laura Hunsberger began her career in radio in 2010 at WHQR in Wilmington, NC and received her MFA in Creative Writing, Nonfiction from UNCW. In 2012, Hunsberger began working as Associate Producer for the NPR and South Carolina Public Radio program Song Travels with Michael Feinstein. In 2015, she became a staff reporter for South Carolina Public Radio, reporting on statewide and national news and covering the historic floods that hit South Carolina in October 2015.

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Officials are prepositioning for flooding in Charleston, Georgetown, Williamsburg, and Dorchester Counties. New shelters will open in those areas, and residents should be prepared to evacuate if instructed to do so by local officials. Governor Haley says the Department of Natural Resources will patrol the affected areas rigorously to keep people safe and make sure no one is left behind in evacuated neighborhoods. So far DNR has done more than 800 water rescues, and the Governor urges residents not to “sightsee” in flooded areas as DNR is still working to rescue people.

Anyone working in working in enclosed spaces where mold may have taken hold should were masks as well as gloves.
SC Public Radio/File Photo

  Governor Haley says the shelters do not currently need donations or volunteers. Right now, volunteer help is needed cleaning up debris in recovering neighborhoods. DHEC Director Catherine Heigel says volunteers should wear work gloves and boots and get a tetanus shot if needed. She says that if you are not sure whether or not you have gotten one in the past ten years, it is safe to go ahead and get a booster. On Sunday, DHEC plans to open localized clinics in the Midlands to assist volunteers, and local health clinics can also provide shots. For more information, visit

Secretary Jeh Johnson with Governor Nikki Haley (left) and other South Carolina officials.
U.S. Coast Guard

  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is visiting South Carolina today to meet with federal, state and local officials and assess the flooding and recovery efforts. He is scheduled to travel to Columbia and Charleston, but Congressman Jim Clyburn says he hopes to show the Secretary other areas affected by the flooding.

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Flooded farm in Darlington County, SC, October 7, 2015
SC Department of Agriculture

  The State and U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Clemson formed an advisory committee this week to assess the damage of the flooding on rural counties. The projected crop loss is 300 million dollars. That includes only the direct impact to farmers.

Losses to the rural economy could be even more, and the full impact won’t be known until the harvest season is over. The state is requesting disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to open assistance to farmers in impacted areas.

  The South Carolina Department of Transportation will begin roadside debris pick-up on Monday. Residents should sort items by category.

Raging waters of the Columbia Canal, Tue, Oct 6. Flood waters eventually breached the canal, which is the source of Columbia's drinking water.
Linda O'Bryon/SC Public Radio

  In the next 72 hours, the Jamestown area is anticipating flooding from the Santee River. Givhans Ferry also anticipates another 1 to 2 feet of water as a result of flooding on the Edisto River. Governor Haley urges residents to take this situation seriously and consider evacuation.

Flood waters are expected to remain for several days. Officials are also warning residents of Georgetown to consider evacuation. Citizens can call EMD at 1-866-246-0133 with questions. In an emergency call 911.

(File Photo)

  Shelters across the state have taken in hundreds of displaced people during the flooding, and communities have come together with donations for people who had to evacuate. To find out how to help or what items are needed most, visit ( or call 1-888-585-9643.

  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is visiting South Carolina today to meet with federal, state and local officials and assess the flooding and recovery efforts. He is scheduled to travel to Columbia and Charleston, but Congressman Jim Clyburn says he hopes to show the Secretary other areas affected by the flooding.

A levee that forms part of the Columbia Canal, breached by the flooding from record rainfall in South Carolina. (Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015)
Linda O'Bryon/SC Public Radio

  The rains have subsided but flooding continues to cause damage across the state. In Columbia, flooding caused water in downtown's Columbia Canal to breech a levee and flow out into the river. The National Guard and the city are working to stop the flow of water out of this reservoir. They are building a rock dam to slow the current enough to allow helicopters to fill the 60-foot breech.

Aerial view of the Charleston, S.C. area, Oct. 5, 2015.
U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann

In South Carolina flooding continues to disrupt daily life in many communities. Though the record rainfall of the last three days has abated, rivers continue to rise. At least 11 people have died in the state since the heavy rain began.

As Laura Hunsberger reports, concerns about dam breaches and flash flooding continue in the Midlands.

John Leventhal and Rosanne Cash
Courtesy of the artists

  Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash is the daughter of Country music icon Johnny Cash and one of the preeminent artists of her time. On this Song Travels , Cash and her husband and co-writer, John Leventhal, talk about their journey to the South to gather inspiration for their 2014 album, The River & The Thread . Performances include their original music, as well as a stirring cover of Bobbie Gentry's “Ode to Billie Joe.”

Sun, Oct 11 -- News Stations: 2 pm | Classical Stations: 6 pm

Effective through Monday morning, the National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Northeast Georgia, North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, including Greenville and Spartanburg. 8 to 12 inches of rain will be possible in these areas, which could result in life-threatening flash flooding. Another wave of heavy rain is expected tonight and flooding is likely along rivers and streams.

The City of Greenville is monitoring the conditions and residents can call the city’s helpline, Greenville Cares at 864-232-CARE. In an emergency, call 911.

Historic levels of rainfall are predicted for the Midlands. The city of Columbia’s Mayor Steve Benjamin says that although rain may not seem threatening, the roads may be dangerous. lists potentially dangerous intersections to avoid. A toll-free telephone line has been established for questions about the severe weather conditions in the state. Citizens with storm-related questions can call 1-866-246-0133 and the system will operate 24 hours a day while hazardous conditions persist. In an emergency, call 911.

  The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Charleston County, including downtown Charleston, until 4:00 pm.

The storm system caused by Hurricane Joaquin, combined with high tide on Saturday afternoon, will result in significant flooding. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley says that even when the tide recedes, the rain will continue to create an unprecedented weather event.

  July 25/July 26, 2015: Corky Hale

Multi-instrumentalist Corky Hale has been blazing trails since her career began. She started piano at three, harp at eight, flute at ten, and cello at twelve. In the late 1950s, she became Mel Tormé's pianist and teamed up with Billie Holiday in Las Vegas and LA. On this Piano Jazz from 1993, Hale performs “Yesterdays” on the harp with Herb Michman joining on bass. She duets with McPartland on “Tea for Two.”

Hillary Gardner
Courtesy of the artist

--- News Stations: Sun, Jul 26, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Jul 26, 6 pm --

  Vocalist Hilary Gardner made her debut on Broadway in Twyla Tharp’s musical Come Fly Away, singing solos and duets with Frank Sinatra to much critical acclaim. In 2014, she released her debut solo album, The Great City, a love letter to New York City. On this edition of Song Travels, Gardner evokes memories of another time and place with her take on Tom Waits’ ballad “Drunk on the Moon.”

Lari White
Courtesy of the artist

  --- News Stations: Sun, Jul 12, 2 pm | Classical Stations: Sun, Jul 12, 6 pm --- Lari White Vocalist and producer Lari White is known as Nashville’s “Renaissance Woman.” She made history as the first female producer of a male superstar for Toby Keith’s Platinum album White Trash Money. On this edition of Song Travels, White performs Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” along with standards by the Gershwins and Rodgers & Hammerstein.

John Leventhal and Rosanne Cash
Courtesy of the artists

Allen Toussaint
Courtesy of the artist