Richland County council members and managers are traveling to Nashville to meet officials who helped the Tennessee city rebound from a devastating flood in 2010.
Among the lessons the Richland County contingent hopes to learn are best practices for navigating FEMA the policies and procedures, according to a county news release Wednesday.
Heavy rain and dam failures in early October killed 19 people across South Carolina, including nine in Richland County. The Midlands’ drinking-water supply was threatened, businesses and schools closed, and much property damaged or destroyed. As of Oct. 26, more than three weeks after the heaviest rains, about 50 Richland County roads remained closed, down from a peak of 133 roads in the flood’s immediate aftermath.
Nashville experienced similar, widespread devastation five years ago after a more than 13 inches of rain fell during a 36-hour period. The flood killed more than 20 people and wiped out hundreds of businesses. News outlets reported the flood caused more than $2 billion in private property damage and $120 million in public infrastructure damage.
Since facing that destruction, Nashville rebounded, and FEMA cites the city as a model of flood recovery, according to the Richland County release.
The eight-member Richland County contingent gathering Oct. 28 in Nashville for daylong meetings and tours includes County Council Chairman Torrey Rush, county administrator Tony McDonald and Emergency Services director Michael Byrd. They are expected to return Thursday, according to the release, which did not name other members of the contingent.