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The Georgetown County disaster recovery center in Georgetown County, Beck Recreation Center, 2030 West Church St., Georgetown, will close Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m.

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline. Survivors of Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in Georgetown County can get help by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585; those who use 711/VRS can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Survivors can use the helpline to:

South Carolina Flood Coverage on NPR

Jan 25, 2016

  During the October Floods, South Carolina Public Radio reporters submitted 18 stories to NPR for broadcast nationwide. This reel contains 4 of the stories carried on NPR’s National Newscast.


  In the initial days of the October Floods, staff of South Carolina Public Radio staff worked around the clock to keep the transmitters on the air and to provide breaking news coverage with updates about the disaster. This reel contains just a few of the critical news stories provided by Anchor George Kearns during the flood and the days that followed.


    Many survivors of last month’s floods have gone through great emotional strain from dealing with the many aspects of trying to get their lives back in order. FEMA is offering counseling services at no cost to flood victims who feel overwhelmed, exhausted or unable to cope with the load. Recovery centers across the state have mental health professionals on hand or readily available to victims.

Find the closest disaster recovery center to you: (800) 621- 3362 or fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers • Register to apply for assistance: DisasterAssistance.gov or call (800) 621-3362 • Disaster assistance for the deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired: (800) 462-7585 (TTY).  Those who use 711/VRS, call (800) 621-3362.   The toll-free telephone numbers will operate 7 .m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.  Survivors may also choose to visit a disaster recover center.  


Winter Storm Advisory

Jan 23, 2016

 

   The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather storm and advisory, in effect for the Upstate and Northern Midlands in South Carolina. Motorists are advised to use extreme caution on all roadways. Watch for freezing rain, ice accumulations and slow moving SCDOT maintenance vehicles. If you are involved in an accident with no injuries, South Carolina law requires a motorist to move vehicles from the roadway to avoid blocking traffic. Update will be provided as conditions change.

Click this link for the latest update from the SCEMD about county and state office delays and closings.  

Governor Haley outlines her plans to improve public education, and fight domestic violence in her annual State of the State Address.

This week Russ McKinney looks at the Governor’s sixth State of the State report to the General Assembly.

  The disaster recovery center at Irmo Library, 6251 St. Andrews Road, Columbia, will close Friday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m.             

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline. Survivors of Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in Lexington County can get help by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585; those who use 711/VRS can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

In the wake of the historical flood, community outreach programs are helping families get back on their feet.  The Pine Glen subdivision was hit hard by rising rain water and residents are worried they may not be able to move back in.

University of SC students clean up flood debris from Gills Creek, the location of some of the Midlands' worst flooding.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Just because some of South Carolina’s flood-ravaged roads and bridges have been re-opened and repairs to homes and businesses are in progress does not mean that little remains to be done.  A group of University of South Carolina students tackled one unmet need at Columbia’s Gills Creek the weekend prior to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

USGS water level gauge at the Gills Creek in Columbia, SC.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Of the many agencies that rushed to help victims of October’s floods, one remains largely unknown.  It’s the U.S. Geological Survey, which maintains a network of satellite-connected guages to measure the elevation of rivers and creeks statewide.   This information and more is shared with numerous agencies, and is vital to the National Weather Service, which uses it to make accurate predictions and generate flood warnings and watches when needed. 

File Photo
FEMA

    As more people receive flood relief from FEMA and the Small Business Administration and few people use the agencies’ disaster recovery centers, the centers are closing around the state. This doesn’t mean that help is going away, however. FEMA spokesman Jim Homstad tells us that as recovery centers close, the task of giving assistance will be taken over by more local and community groups. Flood survivors will still have access to FEMA’s helpline, however.

State of the State address

Jan 15, 2016
Gov. Nikki Haley
Governor's Office

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will deliver her State of the State address before a joint session of the General Assembly Wednesday night. South Carolina Public Radio will provide live coverage of the address including reaction from members of the General Assembly. Coverage of the State of the State address will also feature with interviews of House and Senate members.

All Stations: Wed, Jan 20, 7 pm

The Richland County Disaster Recovery Center at the Richland Library, Main Branch, Closes Jan. 13, 2016
SC Public Radio

  As flood victims get their lives back to a semblance of normalcy and no longer utilize FEMA’s disaster recovery centers, they will close as they are no longer needed.  The Richland County Library location of the recovery center on Assembly St. in downtown Columbia will close at 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 13, 2016.  Two other centers in Richland County, and nine others around the state, will remain open until they are no longer needed.

For those registered with FEMA, help and information can still be found at the following:

  A disaster recovery center in Clarendon County will close Friday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m.:

  • Clarendon Community Complex, 7 Maple St., Manning

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline. Survivors of Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in Clarendon County can get help by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585; those who use 711/VRS can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Survivors can use the helpline to:

  Two disaster recovery centers in Orangeburg County will close Friday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m.:

Elliot New
elliotandtheuntouchables.com

  For more than 20 years, Elliott and the Untouchables have been entertaining audiences throughout South Carolina and beyond with traditional and original blues music that jumps and swings.  In this edition of South Carolina Focus, Elliot New talks about his passion for this “real” music and how he writes his songs.  He also demonstrates his homemade “diddley bow,” a primitive instrument early bluesmen made from nails, baling wire and broomsticks.  Untouchables bassist J.T. Anderson also comments on what motivates his friend and fellow musician.


  After a warmer than normal December, the National Weather Service has predicted a wetter and cooler than normal winter for South Carolina.  Derrec Becker of S.C. Emergency Management Division cautions that severe weather is possible, and provides a list of simple things people can do to prepare for winter storms.

The Federal Emergency Management Division reports that a disaster recovery center in Richland County, located in the Richland Main Library, 1431 Assembly St., will close Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m.

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline. Survivors of Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in Richland County can get help by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585; those who use 711/VRS can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

File Photo
FEMA

    Two disaster recovery centers in Richland County will close Friday, Jan. 8, at 6 p.m.:

  • Richland County Library Eastover, 608 Main St. in Eastover
  • Temple of Faith Church, 2850 Congaree Road, Gadsden

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline. Survivors of Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in Richland County can get help by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585; those who use 711/VRS can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

SCE&G: Lake Murray Dam Releasing "Minimal" Outflow

Jan 3, 2016

  SCE&G will continue to maintain a minimal outflow from one spill gate today, making adjustments as needed. Updates will be provided on SCE&G's social media channels, through local media and to local law enforcement officials.

South Carolina Electric and Gas has announced this morning via social media that, "(d)ue to slowing inflows into Lake Murray overnight, SCE&G began incrementally closing the spill gate opened Friday, reducing outflows from Saluda Hydro. We will continue to make adjustments throughout the day as needed. Updates will be provided on SCE&G's social media channels, through local media and to local law enforcement officials."

  SCE&G posted on its Facebook page that it reopened one spill gate at the Saluda Hydro facility at noon today. SCE&G is continuing to monitor lake levels to determine if additional actions will be necessary over the next 24 hours. For safety reasons, the utility company has asked boaters to avoid the Lake Murray dam area and the Lower Saluda River for recreational boating, kayaking and other activities today. We advise residents to continue to remain alert to SCE&G social media outlets, local news channels and local officials for additional information.

Due to continued inflows into Lake Murray overnight, SCE&G reopened one spill gate at the Saluda Hydro facility. SCE&G has notified emergency officials and will continue management of the lake by opening the one spill gate at noon today releasing up to an additional 18,000 CFS inflow into the Lower Saluda River. SCE&G will continue to monitor lake levels to determine if additional actions will be necessary over the next 24 hours. The company advises residents to remain alert to SCE&G social media outlets, local news channels and local officials for additional information.

...The Flood Warning continues for the following rivers in South Carolina...Georgia.

Wateree River Near Camden affecting Kershaw County

Stevens Creek Near Modoc affecting Edgefield and McCormick Counties

Congaree River At Columbia affecting Lexington and Richland   Counties

Congaree River At Carolina Eastman affecting Calhoun...Lexington   and Richland Counties

Pee Dee River At Cheraw affecting Chesterfield and Marlboro Counties

Saluda River At Chappells affecting Greenwood...Newberry and Saluda   Counties

Future Uncertain for Garden Center Near Columbia

Dec 17, 2015
After the flood: Forest Lake Gardens in Forest Acres, near Columbia, SC, in December, 2015.
Forest Lake Garden Center

  Local farmers have been selling to the Forest Lake area for three decades or more. But flood damage and other circumstances may cause the last vendor in the area to close up shop.

    At the Forest Lake Gardens in Columbia, employees are busy trimming the extra branches from Christmas trees for customers. People come here year round for plants and peanuts, and this time of year, for fresh cut Christmas trees. When the historic flood hit the state in October, the Garden Center was hit hard.

A New Home for the Holidays After the Flood

Dec 17, 2015
Debris outside resident Mike Parker’s home in the Gills Creek neighborhood of Columbia, SC.
Linda O'Bryon/SC Public Radio

Many in Columbia braced for what was later called the storm of the century, but in the Gills Creek neighborhood, fast action saved lives.  Like many of their neighbors in the Gills Creek area, the damage was bad enough that Mike Parker and his family won’t be able to rebuild.

A Story from the Columbia Canal: Hospitals and Water

Dec 8, 2015
Initial repair efforts at the Columbia Canal required the SC National Guard to lift giant sandbags into the breach.
SC Public Radio

When the October flood hit, two hospitals in downtown Columbia lost water pressure. The situation was critical as officials worked to restore water to the facilities.

The deadline for survivors of South Carolina’s historic floods to register for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance has been extended an additional 30 days to Jan. 3, 2016

  South Carolina storm survivors have one week left to register for assistance with FEMA. The registration deadline is Friday, December 4. Once you’re registered, you’re in the system. There is no need to register again. Register online at disasterassistance.gov or by calling toll-free 1-800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily to take your calls. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 1-800-462-7585.

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