A roundup of flood-related news Saturday from the Columbia area, as it happened.
The SC Highway Patrol reports numerous road washouts in Lexington County, including Platt Springs Road at Calks Ferry Road.
The City of Columbia Water Works lifted the boil water advisory for water customers located 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,located in Richland County.
Earlier this week the advisory was lifted for 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.
A flash flood watch is in effect in Midlands until midnight tonight. The watch was issued by the National Weather Service as a storm system moved over the already storm-battered and rain drenched region.
1-2 inches of rain has already fallen on the Midlands today. Locally heavy rains could still fall tonight.
Richland County has added a third location for free tetanus vaccinations on Sunday. Clinics will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the following locations:
▪ Richland County Sheriff Headquarters, 5623 Two Notch Road, Columbia
▪ Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center, 8620 Garners Ferry Road, Hopkins
▪ Irmo Branch Library, 6251 Saint Andrews Road, Columbia
DHEC will also offer no cost tetanus vaccinations at health departments statewide beginning Monday, Oct. 12. To make an appointment for a tetanus vaccination at a health department near you, call 1-800-868-0404.
The water at Palmetto Health Richland and Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital is drinkable, the hospital system said Saturday evening after tests confirmed their alternate water supply is clean.
The water supply, managed by the Army National Guard, will be in place until the city has removed the boil water advisory. The hospitals still are using city-supplied water for non-patient-focused needs, such as air conditioning and certain equipment.
Friday night, Palmetto Health Baptist similarly replaced its water supply used for patient care. Water will be used without boiling after testing determines it is drinkable.
In northwest Richland County, the city of Columbia boil water advisory was lifted Saturday for Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge. Water will be tested for 24 hours before being used without boiling.
Two disaster recovery centers are open in the Midlands 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help flood victims understand the assistance available to them and help them apply for aid.
Federal, state, and local officials will be on hand.
▪ Richland Library Southeast at 7421 Garners Ferry Road
▪ Richland Library Eastover at 608 Main Street, Eastover
If you have suffered flood-related losses, you should try to register with FEMA before visiting the disaster recovery center. That can be done online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. 7 days a week until further notice. Help is available in most languages.
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley had no new word of road repairs Saturday after the historic rain storm that struck the state a week ago.
Haley said 35 state transportation assessment teams are checking roads in 23 counties. She did not offer a timetable for the start of repairs but said rains on Saturday will not slow assessments.
Almost 340 roads and bridges remain closed statewide. About one-third are in Richland County.
The state has closed more of Interstate 95 for repairs, Haley said.
A 16-mile stretch in Clarendon County, from exit 119 near Manning to exit 135 near Turbeville, is shut down in both directions while bridge pilings are repaired. No completion date was released.
Thirteen miles of the interstate were closed yesterday in the area.
Haley said two more victims died in incidents related to the storm, bringing the statewide total to 19. The state did not release details about the latest deaths.
A curfew will be in effect from midnight through 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday nights, Richland County announced in a news release. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department will enforce these curfews. In other updates from the county:
▪ Rainfall: Nearly 1.5 inches of rain fell in some portions of Richland County Saturday morning, with the rain diminishing before noon. Creeks and dams were monitored during this storm, and minor flooding was reported. The water has started to recede.
▪ 911 tally: 1,295 total 911 calls for all agencies were received in the last 24 hours .
▪ Roads and bridges: S.C. Department of Transportation and Richland County officals are monitoring roads and bridges with National Guard assistance.
▪ Shelters: 100 people are in Richland County shelters. The county will be closing its shelters and moving the remaining people to two new locations: Temple Baptist Church, 806 Universal Drive; and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 6952 St. Andrews Road.
▪ Animals: Report dead or sick animals at 803-929-6000.
▪ Food and water: Food and water sites include Gadsden Community Center, Eastover Community Park and Crane Creek Community Center. Residents can go to any shelter and receive food and water. Bottled-water points are located at Crane Creek Recreation Center, Gadsden, Eastover, Forest Heights Elementary, Landmark Drive, Dutch Square, Midlands Shopping Center, the former Sam’s Club on Sunset Drive and Wal-Mart on Forest Drive.
▪ Tetanus shots: DHEC is providing no-cost Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccinations to residents at two mobile clinics today, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at A.C. Flora High School (1 Falcon Drive) and 3p.m.-5 p.m. at Pine Glen Subdivision (Seawright Road). Two clinics will be held Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center (8620 Garners Ferry Road, Hopkins) and the Irmo Branch Library (6251 Saint Andrews Road).
▪ FEMA disaster assistance: FEMA has disaster-recovery representatives at shelters and distribution sites to start registration for those affected by flooding. Two centers will open today in Richland County; FEMA will announce those locations later today. To register for FEMA disaster assistance, call 1-800-621-FEMA or go to www.disasterassistance.gov.
▪ Monday opening: Richland County Government Offices will open at normal hours Monday. The safety of the public and employees is a priority; therefore employees who are unable to report to work because of road conditions should contact their supervisors.
▪ Richland County Council meeting: Richland County Council will meet 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12.
▪ Boil-water advisory: For the most updated information about the City of Columbia Water Department’s boil water advisory, go to www.columbiasc.net.
▪ Courts: Richland County Central Court's jury trials have been canceled for the week of Oct. 12. Jurors should not report.
The city of Columbia says it still has free tarps, which are available today while supplies last. Distribution began at 8 a.m. They are available at the following water-distribution sites, to help residents cover items placed outside of flooded homes.
▪ Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St.
▪ Walmart, Forest Drive near Fort Jackson
▪ Richland Mall, 3700 Landmark Drive
▪ Eastover Park, 1031 Main St.
▪ Gadsden Community Center, 1660 S. Goodwind Circle
▪ Crane Creek Community Center, 7405-B Fairfield Road
With questions about road safety and the availability of clean water still up in the air, Richland One schools will remain closed Monday, the district announced in a news release.
October 12, Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon announced Saturday.
“We have been in constant communication with city, county and state officials about the condition of roads within Richland One,” Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said in the release. “We (oard members and district administrators) also have been out to assess road conditions for ourselves.
“The determination has been made that it is not safe yet to put our buses back on the roads.”
Although there will be no classes, 11-month and 12-month district employees who are able to get work safely are asked to report to work Monday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Schools and offices will not be open to the public.
While schools are closed, parents can go to the district’s website for tips on instructional activities and resources to keep their children engaged while out of class.
Again Monday, the district will serve lunch to children from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following sites, whether they attend school in Richland One or not.
▪ Burnside Elementary School, 7300 Patterson Road, Columbia
▪ Carver-Lyon Elementary School, 2100 Waverly St., Columbia
▪ Hyatt Park Elementary School, 4200 Main St., Columbia
▪ H.B. Rhame Elementary School, 1300 Arrowwood Road, Columbia
▪ South Kilbourne Elementary School, 1400 South Kilbourne Road, Columbia
▪ John P. Thomas Elementary School, 6001 Weston Ave., Columbia
▪ Lower Richland High School, 2615 Lower Richland Blvd., Hopkins
Alexander Road in West Columbia is closed to allow the city of Columbia work on a water line, the town’s police department said in a news release. The release did not say how long the road would be closed.
The United Way of South Carolina is asking for volunteers across the state to help victims clean debris from their flood-stricken homes and sort the debris at the curb. United Way requests that volunteers register here: getconnected.uwasc.org/drm.
"What we've seen over the last week is the very best in so many people across our state - neighbors helping neighbors is what South Carolina does best," Gov. Nikki Haley said in a news release. "Team South Carolina is motivated, and that's a blessing, but what we need as we start the long process of cleaning up is volunteers. Whatever time you can give makes a difference."
Debris removal workers are asking homeowners to separate the debris into six categories: household garbage, construction debris, vegetation, household hazardous waste, electronics, and appliances.
Debris removal will occur for the next several months, and volunteers can also help by putting together flood buckets for survivors. Those would include:
▪ 5 gallon bucket
▪ Sponges and scrub brushes
▪ Heavy duty gloves
▪ Retractable utility knife
▪ Mold control spray
Bleach and disinfectant To find where to drop off the flood buckets, call the S.C. Baptist Convention Relief Center at 803-227-6031. Additional instructions also are available by clicking this link.
Other organizations are coordinating activities to collect items of need. The S.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church is delivering health and school supply kits throughout the community.
The S.C. Baptist Convention has also developed a disaster-relief mud-out training video with basic procedures for safely and effectively cleaning debris.
Flood survivors who need help should register as soon as possible with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-261-FEMA (3362). They also are encouraged to call 211 to register with the United Way of South Carolina. They can help survivors find the best resources in their local community.
Rains soaked the Midlands again just a week after hundreds of homes were ravaged by the floods.
Falling steadily Saturday morning, the rain is not unexpected -- today’s forecast included an 80-percent chance of precipitation and a high of 70 degrees. The rain could fall throughout the day, and a flash-flood warning is in effect through 9:45 a.m.