South Carolina Recovering from Massive Flooding


Courtesy of Tribune Media Service

A man checks on his waterlogged truck. The flooding in South Carolina closed hundreds of roads.

Tea Smith, Staff Reporter

Earlier this month, South Carolina was devastated by Hurricane Joaquin, which led to the worst flood in the state’s history.  The state was hit with an all-time high rainfall, leading to the closing of 225 state roads.  Many people lost their lives as a result, of being swept away by the massive water currents.  At press time, it is currently estimated that 19 people died, while thousands more residents lost their homes and vehicles.

The state governor called for FEMA to help evaluate the damages caused by Hurricane Joaquin so they can have an estimate of the monetary costs.  Numerous wells and dams were damaged during the flood. 

It is clear already that estimated damages will require the state to work numerous hours and spend likely billions of dollars. It has been more than a week and South Carolina is still trying to recover from the devastation of this hurricane.  The state agencies are working tirelessly to restore the water system and return workers to work and children to school.

Senior India Patterson [of what school?] stated, “We missed a whole week of school.  At first, we were actually out for two days (October 5th and 6th) but the dams that are in the area our school is in were breaching. Roads were damage also many counties including ours [Richland County] were under mandatory curfew for several days. State officials called for all schools to be canceled for the rest of the week. We went back to school Monday, October 12th. We are currently under a two hour delay until our school district wants to change our schedule. Nothing has really changed in school but the fact that we don’t have clean water to drink from the water fountain and we cannot wash [our] hands, we have to use hand sanitizer.”

Dozens of waterlines are still broken and the city had to inform more than 10% of its residents that they have to continue to boil their drinking water.

The state’s National Guard was activated to drop more than 700 sandbags into the rushing water.  South Carolina has repaired 13 small bridges on the interstate in the Clarendon County, in spite of their efforts a 16-mile stretch of main roads still remains closed on the major East Coast highway, which goes through the low lands and swamps. The department of transportation currently has routed the city bus to Highway 95 to take a 168 mile detour to Columbia instead of their normal 74 mile drive from Interstate 26 to Interstate 20.

It is unclear, of when the state will fully recover from the devastation of Hurricane Joaquin.  Residents are hopeful that life will return to normal, as they know it. For now the state fair is still scheduled to be held on October 14th.