A much-anticipated delivery was on its way Monday afternoon to Lower Richland High School.
The school, whose auditorium was being used as a shelter for those forced to evacuate from their homes because of flooding, was among facilities without water – the result of water line breaks along what the utility department considers the downtown district, from the Main Street business district south under the University of South Carolina and into rural Lower Richland.
A National Guard water truck was expected to set up a water distribution center Monday afternoon in the school gymnasium, one of several free water distribution centers announced by Richland County officials earlier in the day.
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Organizers at Lower Richland High said they had “quite a few” volunteers on hand to help at the shelter.
About 25 people spent the night at Lower Richland High on Sunday, and about 10 were in the auditorium Monday afternoon.
Among them was Kesia Sampson.
Sampson said she and her daughter, Wakesa Sampson, awoke at 5 a.m. Saturday to knee-high water levels in their Austin Woods Apartments off Garners Ferry Road in Lower Richland.
“I opened the door and water just flooded in,” Wakesa Sampson said.
“I was able to move our cars, but if I had waited 30 minutes, they would have been submerged.”
Kesia Sampson said Diamond, the family’s chihuahua, barked at the water as it rose, damaging their belongings.
“Everything is messed up,” she said.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” her daughter added. “It really scared me.”
Monday afternoon, Wakesa Sampson said she was still waiting to hear from her landlord about help finding alternate lodging.
She said she was trying to be patient, but had many concerns, chiefly, “Where am I going to live?”
There was conflicting information about where shelters were located Monday afternoon in Richland County.
An American Red Cross website had A.C. Flora High and St. Andrews Baptist Church listed as shelters, but not Lower Richland High.
A.C. Flora, 1 Falcon Drive, was closed early Monday afternoon, but then opened in late afternoon as a shelter.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department said noted two other shelters Monday afternoon:
▪ Lower Richland High: 2615 Lower Richland Blvd., Lower Richland County
▪ St. Andrews Middle: 1231 Bluefield Drive, St. Andrews
In Lexington County, government officials announced these shelters:
▪ Lexington Leisure Center, 109 Park Road, Lexington
▪ Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Lane, Irmo
▪ White Knoll High School, 5643 Platt Springs Road, Lexington