sc news

Backhoes and bulldozers prepare the ground for new business locations in Myrtle Beach.  The area has been named one of fastest metropolitan statistical areas in the nation, drawing both business and residents to Horry County.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

    The many attractions of Myrtle Beach have led to the area’s being named by some as the second fastest growing metropolitan area in the country. Between 2000 and 2014, Horry County’s population grew from just under 200,000 to 300,000, a 50 percent growth in just 15 years.

Alexandra Olgin

Farmer Jamie Burgess has cut the cord to his home internet, landline phone and cable. After back to back seasons of bad weather and low crop prices he needs to cut costs wherever possible. 

Floods drowned nearly his entire soybean crop in Williamsburg County last October, preceded by a drought that devastated much of his summer corn. A few bad crops in a row meant no income. 

“It has put us in real bad shape,” he said. “It’s just real hard on us. Real stressful.”

  When the largest demographic group in the country, baby boomers, began moving into retirement mode at the beginning of this century, that segment of the population started receiving a lot of attention.  Several years ago, a Harris Poll identified four types of these new retirees, ranging from youthful and optimistic to worried struggler.  Our next guest has been working with these groups for many years and says the categories are indeed real.  Which one is yours?

A Town Hall meeting for City of Columbia and Richland County residents in October 2015.
City of Columbia.

  Richland County’s Andrea Bolling is South Carolina’s Floodplain Manager of the Year. The award highlights her work since the October flood as well as the efforts of Richland County and her colleagues at work in Floodplain Management across the state.

  Even if you don’t have a cold, sneezing, sniffling and coughing can be commonly heard in South Carolina because it’s a plant – and thus pollen – filled state. That means allergies. In this report, allergist Dr. David Amrol says spring, though noted for the pollen released by blooming plants, is not the only season for allergies, because some plants (such as grass) release pollen in summer, and others, like ragweed, spread their misery in the fall.

  During South Carolina’s 1,000-year flood event, City of Columbia Water Works Superintendent Clint Shealy said the water treatment center at the Columbia Canal was treating very “difficult, muddy, turbid water.”  Heavy rains caused a flushing effect, which pushed leaves and decaying vegetation into the river.

At the House in a Box warehouse, volunteers and grant-funded employees work together to serve flood-impacted families.
Cooper McKim/SC Public Radio

  A grant from the US Department of Labor provides a chance for people to get back to work by placing long-term unemployed and dislocated workers with flood recovery agencies in the Midlands.

The Skywheel, Myrtle Beach’s newest landmark.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  Since it opened in 2011, the Myrtle Beach Skywheel has become a fixture of the beach town’s skyline. Twenty stories tall, it has become a landmark by which visitors and locals alike navigate the beachfront area. In today’s story we talk with two representatives who reveal what makes the wheel – which they regard as an “observation wheel” rather than an entertainment ride like smaller ferris wheels – so special. Among its appealing features are the enclosed gondolas, air conditioned for comfort regardless of the weather. Plus, for people, and ocean, watching, the wheel has no equal.

Dale Longacre reviews with neighbor Howard Bickley the height of the water on their neighborhood entrance booth as they perched atop a planter preparing to swim out against a strong tide that swept Bickley’s car into deep water during October’s flood.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

October’s historic floods left property and homes ruined for hundreds in South Carolina. For some it was worse: several victims drowned, trapped in their cars. Howard Bickley was nearly one of them. At 6 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, he found himself trapped in a sinking car after unexpectedly encountering a wall of water from a dam break nearby. Bickley remained calm and waited for the water to rise in his car to equal the pressure from outside.

Williamsburg Temporary Emergency Room Opens

Apr 25, 2016
Rebecca Bradford

After several months, Williamsburg has a much needed temporary emergency room. The hospital, approximately 80 miles north of Charleston was forced to shut its doors nearly three months ago after water damage from the October flooding made much of the building unusable. 

The temporary ER is made up of four connected trailers, all with a different function. The two modular buildings on either side of the main hallway are where medical procedures will take place.  

When the flood hit last October, Joanna Derrick wanted to find a way to help flood victims. She posted a picture of her husband's army-grade truck to Facebook and offered help. She ended up salvaging apartments with hundreds of volunteers helping who had
Joanna Derrick/Facebook

When the flood hit last October, Joanna Derrick wanted to find a way to help flood victims. She posted a picture of her husband's army-grade truck to Facebook and offered help. She ended up salvaging apartments in the Willow Street Complex in St. Andrews with hundreds of volunteers helping who had seen her Facebook posts. By the end of the week, they cleared out all 123 units.  She says it wouldn't have been possible without social media, "it would have taken too long, this was such a time-sensitive thing. We were in-and-out of that complex. There were 23 buildings. It's giant!

The River Rocks Music Festival is normally held at River Front Park in downtown Columbia.  Event organizers would drive across the Columbia Canal to transport items for the festival. During October’s historic rain event, the site was flooded, the performa
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

  The River Rocks Music Festival is in search of a new home.  The annual event serves as a fundraiser for the River Keeper, a grass-root nonprofit that works to protect the Broad, Saluda and Congaree rivers. The family-friendly event is normally held at River Front Park, but October’s historic rain event destroyed the site’s wooden stage, flooded the field, and blew a 60-foot hole in the adjacent Columbia Canal. River Front Park reopened to the public in March, but the concert area is stilled closed. Festival organizers are on the hunt, once again, for a new location.

The empty end of the Columbia Canal, which lost part of Columbia’s water supply when its levee breached as a result of the October 2015 floods in the Midlands.   At the far end, the temporary rock dam that holds water in the rest of the canal can be
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Following a serious breach in its levee caused by October’s flood, the water contained in the Columbia Canal emptied into the Congaree River. Thanks to diligent work by city engineers and help from the South Carolina National Guard, a temporary dam was built above the breach which has allowed most of the canal to fill with water. And, the city’s water supply has operated normally since late October, with no dip in water quality even immediately after the flood.

Scientists Study How Low Salt Levels Can Change The Marsh

Apr 15, 2016
The study of the persistent low salinity levels in the North Inlet Estuary is part of a series of research the University of South Carolina has funded to examine how nature and human communities were impacted by the October 2015 flood.
Alexandra Olgin/SC Public Radio

  Marshes along the South Carolina coast have been less salty following an influx of rain water late last year. Low levels of salinity for a sustained period of time can change the homes and breeding grounds for fish and other animals. 

Scientists at the University of South Carolina are studying how this temporary environmental change may affect the ecology of the marsh. Research Specialist Paul Kenny slips a small metal measuring device into the water.

An House in a Box employee and a volunteer load a couch into a family’s moving truck.
Cooper McKim/SC Public Radio

  When the October floods hit, thousands were displaced across the state. Almost 7 months later, hundreds of people are still waiting for the chance to go home again. The House in a Box Program offers help to those who are just now moving home.

Pages