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HomeNewsHistoric Flooding in South Carolina Shuts Down the State

Historic Flooding in South Carolina Shuts Down the State

In what officials are calling the worst flooding in a thousand years, large sections of South Carolina are still under water after Hurricane Joaquin swept through the state with devastating rainstorms that have killed at least 16 people and stranded hundreds of others.

More than a foot of rain fell on the state capital Columbia last Monday, submerging homes and businesses, and threatening the water supply. State emergency managers issued a statewide alert for people to remain indoors, as well as shutting down school districts, schools, government and business offices.

A number of school districts and schools throughout the state have remained closed or at least delayed opening. In Columbia, the superintendent of Richland County School District One, Dr. Craig Witherspoon, has kept schools and administrative offices closed through Oct. 7.

“As the images we’ve seen on TV and through social media show, there is widespread devastation in the Columbia area and in other parts of the state in the aftermath of the historic flooding. The safety of our students and employees is our primary concern,” said Witherspoon.

After President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the Palmetto State, Gov. Nikki Haley saw the federal declaration as an important step in recovery.

“We have now entered the largest recovery program our nation offers in an almost unprecedented timeframe. What this allows us to do is to assess the damage of this storm in every single county and continue to add to the list of those eligible for this support, a list we know will grow,” said Haley.

The first step in the state’s recovery is getting essential traffic resumed on key routes that have been closed due to flood damage. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced the availability of $5 million in emergency relief funds from the Federal Highway Administration to the South Carolina Department of Transportation to assist in repairing the roads and bridges critical to relief efforts.

“We want South Carolinians to know this funding is only a down payment on our commitment to ensuring all highways and bridges are repaired. More resources will become available as estimates for the cost of repairs become clear,” said Foxx.

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