South Carolina residents who lost property or income due to this month’s historic flooding are eligible for temporary food assistance.
The state Department of Social Services announced Friday that people living in 20 counties affected by the disaster can apply for debit-like cards that can be used to buy food at grocery stores and other retailers.
People can apply beginning Tuesday through Dec. 3. Applicants must show they suffered unreimbursed losses in the disaster, such as damage or destruction to their home or lost wages.
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People in certain ZIP codes within the counties who already receive help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will automatically get money added to their cards. Others will have to request a supplement.
COLUMBIA HELP HOTLINE
The city of Columbia has a new flood help hotline.
Mayor Steve Benjamin announced Friday the launch of the Columbia Area Recovery Effort (CARE) Hotline. The number is 1-866-272-1976.
The hotline serves as a resource to anyone in the Metro Columbia area and throughout the Midlands region who was affected by the October floods and has questions they need answered.
“Whether you need help or you want to help, the CARE Hotline is here for you with a variety of experts on site to answer your questions and help you get the information and services you need,” Benjamin said. “We may not have all the answers, but we won’t rest until you do.”
LEX-RICH 5 MAKE-UP DAYS
Lexington-Richland 5 school district announced plans on Thursday to make up a second day missed earlier this month because of flooding.
The district’s students will now report to school on Nov. 9, which was previously a student holiday. The district already made up one of the five days it missed because of flooding, holding school on Oct. 12.
Lexington-Richland 5 spokeswoman Katrina Goggins said the district will make up more than the two days already announced. A decision on when to add more makeup days, based on any more inclement weather closures, will come later, the district said in a press release.
SOME CAYCE PARKS REOPEN
Cayce city officials have announced timelines for the opening of parks and trails that have been closed since historic flooding hit the Midlands earlier this month.
City officials urge people using the reopened trails and parks use caution and to stay on designated pathways.
The Cayce Riverwalk will open its four phases as follows:
▪ Phase 1, from the North Avenue entrance to the Blossom Street Bridge, will reopen Saturday.
▪ Phase 2, from the North Avenue entrance to Riverland Park, will be closed until further notice due to substantial repairs.
▪ Phase 3, from Riverland Park to the Thomas Newman Boat Landing, is currently closed but is expected to reopen next week. Its parking lot will reopen Saturday.
▪ Phase 4, from the Thomas Newman Boat Landing to the Timmerman Trail, will reopen Saturday.
City officials said the entrance near the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Facility on the Fort Congaree Trail will also reopen Saturday.
Riverland Park Entryway Park and the Granby Gardens Park will both be closed for planned improvements, officials said.
CALHOUN GETS RECOVERY CENTER
A disaster recovery center is now open in St. Matthews to help flood survivors. The center, at John Ford Community Center, at 304 Agnes St., is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.
Representatives from the S.C. Emergency Management Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies are at the center to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest loans. They can also help survivors apply for aid.
FLOODWATERS BREED MOSQUITOES
Residents are urged to take steps to reduce breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the Department of Health and Environmental Control advised Friday.
Officials say you should check your property for any containers that could be holding rain or floodwater. It only takes as few as five days for water in containers as small as a bottle cap to become active breeding sites for mosquitoes.
Remember to protect yourself when outdoors by wearing light-colored, long sleeves and pants. You might also want to wear insect repellant. For protection while indoors, repair any damaged or broken doors and screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering buildings.
If you notice a significant increase in the mosquito population in your area, DHEC asks that you contact your local city or county’s mosquito control program.
Staff reports, The Associated Press