sc news

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 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.

    FEMA Mitigation Advisers Offer Guidance to Flood Survivors in Charleston, Darlington, Dorchester, Greenwood, Horry and Richland counties

COLUMBIA, S.C. – As South Carolinians rebuild and repair after the recent historic floods, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local home improvement stores have teamed up to provide free information, tips and literature on making homes stronger and safer.

DOT workers repairing bridge approach damaged by October floods.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Progress has been surprisingly rapid on road and bridge re-openings since the October floods in South Carolina. SC Department of Transportation spokesman Pete Poore says of 541 roads and bridges that were closed statewide on Oct. 5, only 80 remain to be opened.

Poore says that the agency's efforts to put workers on the ground while the rains were still coming down helped give it a head start on recovery. "I think we were as prepared as we could be, as an agency, and I think that paid off."

In October of 2015, Columbia's Four Paws Animal Clinic was underwater when the October flood hit.  There were no pets in the clinic when the building flooded.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

When the historic floods hit the Midlands in October, many small businesses, like many homes, were inundated. Ceiling-high waters in low-lying areas would seem to ruin the businesses for good. But the owners are fighting back.

Overflow from this normally small creek caused flood waters to wash out a portion of Bluff Road.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

    As flood waters continue to recede in South Carolina and the threat to roads, dams and property is diminishing, the water can still pose a hazard to the many South Carolinians who get their water from private wells. Robert Yanity and Dr. Linda Bell of DHEC say that illnesses from contaminated water can still pose a danger.

Gov. Nikki Haley in press conference at the SC Emergency Management Division. (File Photo)

    It's been almost two weeks since the first rainfall from this month's torrential storm hit the state. And, with the exception residents and businesses who suffered substantial losses, the state seems to be back on it's feet. All major highways are open, schools have re-opened, only a few hundred people remain in the seven shelters that are still open, and Columbia's water problems have been corrected.

On Wednesday, Governor Nikki Haley thanked the citizens of the state for getting through it, saying "We know that we are coming to brighter days."

One Week Later: How to Help

Oct 12, 2015
Clean-up is underway but volunteers are still needed.
SC Public Radio

    A week after the storm that caused massive flooding in our state, South Carolinians are turning toward recovery and restoration. Thousands of National Guard troops are at work, and charitable organizations have donated hundreds of thousands of meals to people in need. Hundreds have been displaced by the disaster, and help is still needed across the state.