Though the upstate escaped the brunt of record rainfalls most of the rest of the state experienced, South Carolina Emergency Response Team agencies are engaged in life-safety and rescue operations throughout the state, especially in Columbia and Charleston areas. Conditions are expected to worsen throughout the day and resources are being brought into the state to assist local first responders, Derrec Becker of the SC Emergency Management Division said Monday.
According to a news release, the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center is fully activated at Operating Condition One by state agencies of the State Emergency Response Team for the duration of the incident.
Governor Nikki Haley updated the situation during a news conference from the state Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia at 11:30 a.m. Governor Haley will be joined by Adjutant General Robert Livingston, SCEMD Director Kim Stenson, a representative from SCE&G and agency directors from the State Emergency Response Team.
As of 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 5, 2015:
§ Fifteen counties remain fully activated at Operating Condition One.
§ At least 10 counties or municipalities have declared States of Emergency. Many have imposed overnight curfews.
§ At least seven weather-related deaths have been reported.
§ Boil water advisories are in effect for customers of the City of Columbia, West Columbia and other water providers. Up to 40,000 people are currently without drinking water or reporting low water pressure.
§ Five hospitals in Columbia are reporting water problems due to low water pressure and the boil water advisories. State and local agencies are working closely with each hospital.
§ Nearly 400 roads and over 150 bridges have been closed due to flooding conditions.
§ Over 31,000 power outages have been reported across the state.
§ The S.C. Highway Patrol reports Interstate 95 between I-20 in Florence County and I-26 in Orangeburg County remains closed. Interstate traffic in that affected area is being rerouted.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has closed a 70-mile section of I-95 between the I-20 and I-26 interchanges. The action was taken early Sunday afternoon due to a number of flooded sections of the interstate that required several detours.
The alternate route is I-20 Florence to I-77 around Columbia, then onto I-26 east for motorists to return to I-95. Northbound travelers would reverse this route. Traveler information is available on the SCDOT website; www.scdot.org
§ The S.C. Highway Patrol reports 148 collisions overnight.
§ The S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control warns of the dangers associated with rising floodwaters, including drowning, bacterial and viral infection from sewage overflows.
§ The S.C. Emergency Management Division is coordinating all state agency efforts and has currently responded to more than 80 requests for local assistance.
§ SCEMD’s 24 hour public hotline has answered more than 1700 calls with questions about the ongoing flooding.
§ Public Information Phone System continues to handle inquiries from the public. Over 1,700 calls have been placed to PIPS operators.
§ The number to call is 1-866-246-0133.
SEVERE FLOODING WILL CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL DAYS.
When Flooding Occurs in Your Area:
§ Be aware of potential flash flooding. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move. Monitor local media and trusted websites for updated conditions, advisories and instructions.
§ If you have to leave your home, prepare your home for floodwater by moving essential items to an upper floor or shelves, disconnect electrical appliances and turn off the gas, electricity and water.
§ Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
§ Do not drive into flooded areas. Do not drive around barricades posted at or near flooded streets. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle could be quickly swept away. One foot of water can cause your car to float off the roadway.
§ Be aware of electricity issues. Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises —get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!