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State and County Office Closings and Delayed Openings

Feb 16, 2016
South Carolina Emergency Management Division logo

  Opening of state government offices in Spartanburg County today will be delayed by two hours.

State government offices and their employees will follow the same weather hazard decisions made by the county government officials where the state office is located. For example, if county officials delay the opening or close of county government offices, that means state offices in that county will follow the same schedule.

Complete listings here.

  The National Weather Service in Columbia has issued the following Freezing Rain and Winter Weather Advisories for Sunday and Monday (see all current advisories, with details, here):

Freezing Rain Advisory

Darlington; Dillon; Marlboro,Cherokee; Greater Greenville; Greater Oconee; Greater Pickens; Spartanburg; York, Anderson, Chesterfield; Lancaster, 

Winter Weather Advisory: Greenville Mountains; Oconee Mountains; Pickens Mountains


The latest list of advisories is available here.

Robert Smalls
Mathew Brady via Wikimedia Commons

  This edition of South Carolina Focus looks at Robert Smalls, who, despite his name, was a large figure in black history in South Carolina. Born a slave in Beaufort, Smalls became a hero during the Civil War (to the Union) when he stole a Confederate ship and steamed his family and those of other slaves to freedom. Two historians tell us that after the war he returned to South Carolina where he was elected to the state legislature, and later to the United States Senate. Throughout his legislative career, Smalls had a hand in laws that improved education, advanced women’s rights and secured Parris Island as a military base, which it remains today.

Some houses in Gadsden were damaged beyond repair and are being demolished.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

[Updated 03-17-16]

Problems still linger for residents in many of the areas hit hard by October’s “thousand year flood” in South Carolina. Richland County, located in the Midlands of the state, has held a series of community input meetings in locations such as Gadsden, Eastover and the capital city of Columbia, to gather information on what needs still exist.

FEMA Disaster Assistance Interview

  The United Way maintains a one-stop phone number, 211, to help flood survivors who still have unmet needs to connect with a list of local volunteer organizations. As FEMA disaster recovery centers have closed, the local groups remain to permanently help people with relief from any emergency.

  The three remaining disaster recovery centers in South Carolina will close Friday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m.:

  • Richland County Library Southeast, 7421 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia
  • Williamsburg Recreation Center, 2084 Thurgood Marshall Highway, Kingstree
  • Central Carolina Technical College, 853 Broad St., Sumter

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline. 

  Paleontologist Dave Cicimurri digs up fossils 34.5 million years old, not in some wilderness spot, but almost in downtown Aiken. The ancient sharks, rays, barracudas and more tell him not only that the area was once the bottom of the ocean, but the very sediment they’re buried in contains information about the environment of past eras. This information, in turn, may point to where the environment is headed in the far-flung future.

Marjory Wentworth
Andrew Allen/

  Not every state has a poet laureate, but Charleston’s Marjory Wentworth is South Carolina’s. She’s written numerous books and hundreds of poems, at various times humorous, romantic and serious. She serves not only as an advocate for the arts in the Palmetto State, but can occasionally speak for the state’s soul, as when she was called upon for a poem to mark the occasion of the slayings of the Emmanuel Nine. Her poem “Holy City” was not only featured on the front page of the Charleston Post and Courier, but the BBC recorded her reciting it, for inclusion in its covering of the story. That was a solemn occasion, but Wentworth also discusses the joy of writing, and why she can’t live without it.

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 • Register to apply for assistance: 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.