A roundup of flood-related news Sunday from around the Midlands, updated as it happens:
Columbia Fire Department and Palmetto Health will provide a medical bus to serve as a community first-aid station on Monday near South Beltline Boulevard. The medical bus will be at 100 Whispering Pines Circle from noon to 6 p.m.
Volunteer physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and paramedics from Richland County EMS are providing care to those who need wound care, tetanus evaluation/update and general medical care.
The City of Columbia Water Works said customers of the Irmo, Dutch Square, and Saint Andrews areas and all City Of Columbia water customers located west of the Broad River, located in Richland and Lexington Counties, that they no longer need to boil their water prior to drinking or cooking.
In addition, customers located in northeast Columbia in the areas between Percival Road and Hard Scrabble Road, north of Sparkleberry Lane and North Brickyard Road no longer need to boil their water prior to drinking or cooking. These locations include areas in and around the Village at Sandhills, Lake Carolina, the Summit, the Woodlands and Woodcreek Farms Subdivisions, located in Richland County.
Following an intense flushing of the distribution system, bacteriological samples were collected and analyzed. The results indicatethe system is safe to use for drinking and cooking purposes.
Any questions concerning this repeal can be directed to the City of Columbia Customer Care Call Center at 803-545-3300.
Earlier repeals included customers in the Town of Chapin, Ballentine, around Hwy 6 at the Lake Murray Water Treatment Plant, customers on Farming Creek Road and customers along Broad River Road down to Geology Road to include the Lost Creek Drive and Chestnut Hills area. North of Interstate 20, west of Hardscrabble Road, and east of the Broad River, as well as the area along Parkridge Drive between Harbison Boulevard and Lake Murray Boulevard.
For the first time since the Oct. 4 floods, all three local governments are expected to be back to normal operations.
Lexington County reopened last week, while Richland County and the city of Columbia both announced they would reopen Monday. State government and the University of South Carolina, both of which follow Richland County’s schedule, also will reopen Monday.
Meanwhile, most public school districts will reopen Monday, though Richland 1 will remain closed.
Among schools opening on two-hour delays for students: Lexington 1, Lexington 2, Kershaw County and Richland 2. Lexington-Richland 5 schools will reopen on a normal schedule. Lexington 3 and Lexington 4 reopened last week.
Richland 1 will continue to serve free lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Burnside, Carver-Lyon, Hyatt Park and H.B. Rhame elementaries.
There have been several new arrests Sunday morning for curfew violations and other charges, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department announced.
The following individuals violated the curfew that was in place from midnight to 6 a.m. The curfew is in effect again through Monday morning:
1. Chris Giles, 34, charged with unlawful acts in a state of emergency, possession of cocaine, felon in possession of a firearm. Giles was arrested at Bitternut and Padget streets.
2. Cedric Giger, 41, charged with unlawful acts in a state of emergency, possession of cocaine, and felon in possession of a firearm. He also was arrested at Bitternut at Padget.
3 . Devon Fleming, 25, charged with possession with intent to distribute crack, simple possession of marijuana, unlawful carry of a weapon, resisting arrest, and unlawful acts during a state of emergency. Fleming was walking on McCords Ferry Road at U.S. 378 on the off-ramp when he was arrested.
4. Samuel Kirk, 39, charged with simple possession of marijuana. Kirk also was wanted on two warrants out of Forest Acres Police Department. Kirk was arrested in Eastover.
5. Lisa Barney, 49, charged with DUI. USC Police Department will handle the charge.
6. Renaldo Bishop, 20, charged with simple possession of marijuana. Bishop was arrested on Leesburg Road at Anwood Avenue at a carwash that was closed.
7. Kenneth McFadden, 29, charged with simple possession of marijuana. McFadden was arrested on Leesburg Road near Trotter Road.
8. Allen Gene McRae, 33, arrested on probation violation out of Georgia. His original violation was terrorist threats and acts damage 2 and battery)
There were additional arrests in some of the regions for charges ranging from simple marijuana possession to domestic violence and shoplifting, among others.
Since noon Sunday, total road and bridge closures are unchanged, the S.C. Department of Transportation said in a news release.
There are still 328 total road and bridge closures. One additional road has closed and one bridge has been opened, bringing the closures to 225 and 103, respectively.
Since this time yesterday, overall, there are 7 fewer closures. There were 335 closures yesterday, and a total of 328 road and bridges closed Sunday. There currently are three fewer roadways and four fewer bridges that are closed.
Interstate 95 remains open to local southbound traffic only from I-26 in Orangeburg to Exit 119. I-95 remains open to local northbound traffic only from Exit 135 to I-20 in Florence.
I-95 remains closed to all traffic from Exit 119 to Exit 135.
The S.C. Department of Transportation’s debris removal contractors will begin debris removal Monday in parts of Richland and Lexington counties.
In Richland, it will begin in the Forest Acres area, outside Columbia city limits.
In Lexington, it will be on Cairnbrook Drive, in the Pine Glen community.
Residents are asked to place any storm-generated debris on the public right-of-way. Residents should not place debris on the right-of-way if they have or will receive insurance funding to privately dispose of household debris covered by their insurance policy. SCDOT will only collect storm generated debris for which residents are not receiving insurance funding to privately dispose of.
The public right-of-way is the area of residential property that extends from the street to the sidewalk, ditch, utility pole or easement. Residents are asked to separate debris as follows:
– Construction and demolition debris (damaged components of buildings and structures such as lumber and wood, wall board, glass, metal, roofing materials, tile, furnishings and fixtures)
– Household hazardous waste (materials that are ignitable, reactive, toxic or corrosive such as paints, cleaners, pesticides)
– White goods (refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps, ovens, ranges, washing machines, clothes dryers and water heaters)
– Vegetative debris (whole trees, tree stumps, tree branches, tree trunks and other leafy material)
For more information, call (855) GO-SCDOT (855) 467-2368.
Updates from Richland County:
– Water: Bottled water is no longer being distributed at Lower Richland High School. Water will be handed out at the Richland County Sheriff substation, 2615 Lower Richland Blvd., on the high school grounds.
– Weather: It will become partly cloudy with no rain expected through Monday. A few light showers (less than 0.20”) are possible Tuesday along with gusty winds. Dry weather will return Wednesday through next weekend.
– Shelters: The county has closed its shelters and the two remaining shelters operating are being managed by the American Red Cross: Temple Baptist Church (806 Universal Drive), and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (6952 St. Andrews Road).
– Tarps: Free tarps are available, while they last, at Richland County’s water distribution sites from 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
– Sandbags: Richland County Public Works has a limited supply of sandbags for residents to use. They can be picked up, while they last, between 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday at 400 Powell Road.
– Curfew: A countywide curfew will be in effect from midnight through 6 a.m. tonight. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department will have law enforcement officers enforcing these curfews, to help keep residents safe.
– FEMA Disaster Assistance: FEMA has opened two Disaster Recovery Centers in Richland County. The centers will be open daily from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m. and are located at the Richland Library Southeast (7421 Garners Ferry Road in Columbia), and the Richland Library Eastover (608 Main Street in Eastover). To register for FEMA disaster assistance visit one of these locations, call 1-800-621-FEMA or visit www.disasterassistance.gov.
– Water Boil Advisory: For the updated information about the City of Columbia Water Department’s boil water advisory, visitwww.columbiasc.net.
– Tetanus Shots: DHEC is providing no-cost Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccinations to residents at temporary clinics until 5 p.m. Sunday. The clinics are at the Richland County Sheriff Headquarters (5623 Two Notch Road in Columbia); the Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center (8620 Garners Ferry Road in Hopkins); and the Irmo Branch Library (6251 Saint Andrews Road in Columbia).
In Lexington County, repairs are ongoing this weekend on 15 miles of roads that are main school routes in the south and western parts of the county, officials say.
Another 15 miles on other roads will be fixed shortly after that.
Bond was set at $75,000 Sunday for the 71-year-old man accused of hitting a S.C. guardsman with his vehicle and leaving the scene.
Charles Kauffman will be subject to house arrest when he makes bond, Magistrate Ethel Brewer said. He faces charges of attempted murder and committing illegal acts during a state of emergency, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Kauffman was leaving Harvest Hope Food Bank Friday after a volunteer shift there when he allegedly hit guardsman Robert Kuenzli with his vehicle and left the scene. Kuenzli was directing traffic outside Harvest Hope.
Kauffman’s lawyer, Sheri Lydon, said at a brief hearing at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center that her client is sorry for what happened and has apologized to Kuenzli.
Lydon said, “I would like to thank Guardsman Kuenzli for the understanding and compassion he showed my client during the hearing. He is the victim, yet he extended much grace.”
Kuenzli, 68, who is from the Irmo area, suffered non-life threatening injuries in the incident, officials said. He attended Sunday’s hearing and did not object to the bond.
Lydon said Kauffman is on medication, after suffering two strokes in recent months. “We ask for patience and understanding as we sort these things out in coming weeks,” she said.
A contractor “has made good progress” in repairs of 13 Interstate 95 bridges crossing the Pocotaligo and Black Rivers, and the Tearcoat Branch, according to a S.C. Department of Transportation news release. The high-priority project could be completed in a matter of days and includes underwater inspections by divers.
Road closures are much fewer Sunday, the DOT release said, however extreme caution is still required if traveling, particularly after dark. Motorists are reminded they should never attempt to drive around a barricade.
Twelve roads are closed in the DOT’s District 1, which includes Aiken, Lexington, Richland, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter counties. A tentative list of high-priority road repairs includes:
▪ S.C. 48 westbound, Bluff Road, which officials hope to open by Tuesday.
▪ U.S. 215, Monticello Road, where four crews will work Monday
▪ U.S. 601
▪ Killian Road
▪ Blue Johnson
▪ Garners Ferry Road, near Gills Creek
▪ U.S. 321
▪ U.S. 21, North Main Street at the fire station
DOT also is working with Sloan and CRJ companies on orders to repair flood damage on these five state roads:
▪ Harmon Road
▪ Old Hopkins Road
▪ Airbase Road
▪ Rimer Pond Road
▪ Fort Jackson Road in Kershaw County.
The city of Columbia warns customers near the intersection of Bluff Road and Interstate 77 that sewer overflows continue in this section of Richland County.
The overflow is the result of flood water that has innundated the collection system and is entering Gills Creek. Those with questions should call the city at 803-545-3300 or email email@example.com.
The S.C. Department of Transportation issued a report that 334 bridges and roads remain closed throughout the state. Of these, 105 are bridge closures.
Stretches of the vital north-south Interstate 95 route remain closed. I-95 is open to southbound traffic only from its exchange with I-26 in Orangeburg County to exit 119. I-95 is closed to all traffic from Exit 119 to Exit 135 in Florence County.
However, I-95 is open to all local northbound traffic from Exit 135 to I-20 in Florence.
Sunny skies were in the forecast for the Midlands, with only a slight chance of rain, the National Weather Service reported.
That was good news after Saturday’s rains, where some areas of the Midlands received one-and-a-half inches of rain.
But dangerous conditions still exist, forecasters said, and repeated warnings not to drive cars into flooded areas, and never to allow children to play near flooded areas.