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Standing water in Colleton County.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Uncharacteristically warm weather, an historic rainfall event, and persistent standing water had Calhoun and Charleston counties scrambling to keep mosquitoes under control as late as December of 2015. So how are they fairing now as mosquito larva begin to hatch in the spring of 2016?

South Carolina Flood Recovery... 123 Years Ago

Mar 28, 2016
Atlantic Wharf after the storm, Charleston, SC.
Photos taken from Craig Metts' Book "The Great Sea Hurricane & Tidal Wave"

October's historic flood has been called a thousand-year event. FEMA has estimated that a full recovery in South Carolina will likely take four to seven years.  Just a century prior, a recovery that fast would have been unimaginable.  In 1893, South Carolina experienced one of the deadliest storms in American history.  The Sea Islands Hurricane made landfall in Beaufort, South Carolina turning it from a thriving port city to a "forgotten bywater," says Larry Rowland.  He's a historian and co-author of a three-volume book titled, The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina.

Hilton Head Beach Project To Coincide With Tourism Season

Mar 25, 2016
The beach re-nourishment project is completely funded by a beach fee.
Alexandra Olgin/SC Public Radio

  Each year, millions of tourists flock to Hilton Head Island for the pristine beaches and beautiful weather. But to keep the white sand beaches healthy and slow erosion, the town replenishes the sand once a decade. Due to delays partially caused by bad weather last fall and winter the project will now coincide with the peak summer tourism season.

Hilton Head Project Director Scott Liggett spends years planning these beach renourishment projects.

The South Carolina  House passes a new state budget; the number one priority of this budget is funding for  the state's roads and bridges.  Russ McKinney has the roundup of this week in the South Carolina Legislature.

A.C. Moore students sample and analyze pond water at their school.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

  Nancy Frick is a second grade teacher at A.C. Moore Elementary School in downtown Columbia. In June 2015, Frick was enrolled in a nature-based inquiry class through the University of South Carolina and Richland One School District. Frick says she learned about the importance of watersheds, an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. Three months later, when the 1,000-year flood took place, Frick was applying and sharing what she learned in class.

Catherine and Alta Shirk volunteer as cooks for Storm Aid teams.
Laura Hunsberger/SC Public Radio

Sumter County resident Cindy Rodenberg and her husband had severe damage to their home in the October floods. They didn’t know what they were going to do until they contacted Mennonite Disaster Service and Storm Aid. Cindy says she loves her home even more now, not only because it looks fresh and new but because of the people who helped her.

Despite the inroads made by technology, friendly personnel are still on hand to check out materials to the public at Richland Library.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  Technologies such as e-books and the Internet are part of the rapid changes that have caused libraries to rethink their roles and adapt to an evolving society. At USC’s Thomas Cooper Library, 16 million items from the collection were downloaded last year. Over at Richland Library, a complete four-floor renovation will allow new adaptations such as sound recording and video editing spaces, new “makerspaces” to foster creativity and 30 additional meeting spaces. The directors of both libraries comment on the need for libraries to stay relevant in the 21st century, and the actions of these libraries prove that they have indeed done just that.


Food truck at West Columbia's HEMI Food Truck Court.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

    The food truck is an idea whose time has apparently arrived, as more and more of them are seen on lots and at festivals bringing hot (or cold) delicacies to where people gather. A West Columbia entrepreneur has just opened a food truck court to give consumers a wider choice of menus, as well as a place where trucks can gather and know there will be a market for their wares. Meanwhile, a North Charleston fabrication business is contributing to the industry in another way – it’s constructing food trucks out of vintage 1940s and ‘50s trucks, as well as more modern delivery vans.


On this episode of State House Week, host Russ McKinney reports that the S.C. House of Representatives is considering the Senate’s action on a roads bill, and state senators debate a bill to restrict Syrian refugees relocating in the state.

A clean-up volunteer holds what appears to be the base of a stool, found among the debris on Gills Creek.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

  Buddy Wilkes of Lexington says a post on Facebook was the reason he packed his kayak and headed to the Gills Creek area in Richland County. He says, “it said that if you had a kayak to bring it. Well, that piqued my curiosity of how you can use a kayak on a highway clean-up. So I brought my kayak and came down here and this is what I see.”

Vincent Kolb-Lubo/SC Public Radio

  

  Eric McClam joined his father in 2009 to cultivate and grow City Roots, South Carolina’s first urban farm. The plan was to produce clean, healthy, sustainably-grown products while enhancing and educating the community about the benefits of locally-grown food. After historic levels of rainfall left farmers soaked, the father- son team focused more on micro greens to compensate for the loss of their more traditional staple- vegetables.

 

 

All 24 Tartleton State students pose with Miss Deborah in front of her house.
Cooper McKim/SC Public Radio

Near the Congaree River in central Columbia, a group of college students in matching blue t-shirts spent three days repairing one woman's home. Water from the October's flood left serious damage across her property, ruining much of the home's structure as well as her own possessions. The students are from Tarleton State University in Texas. They traveled 20 hours on a bus to be here for their spring break. 

  A recent survey by WalletHub, a website that helps consumers and small businesses to make better financial decisions, found South Carolina’s tax system to be the third fairest in the nation. While it’s nice to be complimented, two tax experts say the survey may be stretching a bit, and not considering certain factors. S.C. Department of Revenue Executive Director Rick Reames says the state has the highest individual income tax in the South.

What had been Lindsay Langdale's Columbia home October 3, 2015 was a flooded ruin the next day.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Nearly six months after the catastrophic floods of Oct. 4, 2015, Columbia residents whose homes were ruined are still coping with the aftermath. Lindsay Langdale of the Glenhaven Manor neighborhood revisits the tri-level house that was devastated by the flood, and to which she will not return. Next door, neighbor Mark Rowland also has no plans to come back to the two adjacent houses he owns. But while Rowland has found a new home, Langdale has not, after looking at scores of houses.

Started in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Project offers low-cost home rebuilding services for people impacted by a natural disaster. That’s good news for a Richland County resident Vernon Kelly and his family.

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