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Hurricane Matthew: Returning Home

October 10, 2016 - Posted in Palmetto Scene by Tabitha Safdi
Destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew

Residents affected by Hurricane Matthew should continue monitoring local news sources and verified, official social media feeds for the most up-to-date information about communities and what to do when returning home. 

At the request of local officials, Governor Nikki Haley has lifted all evacuation orders for zones along the South Carolina coast. Residents should remember the effects of Hurricane Matthew will continue for days, if not weeks. 

Local public safety officials manage the entry to previously evacuated communities. Residents should follow the directions provided by county and local governments to safely return to their homes. 
 
Returning residents should prepare for extended travel times and congestion. For real-time traffic information, visit 511sc.org.
 
Flooding
State and local officials are monitoring the Edisto, Little Pee Dee, and Waccamaw Rivers, among others.  
 
In Colleton County, the Edisto River is expected to crest on Wednesday at 14.5 feet.  As water rises, conditions around the river will become hazardous.  If you are near the Edisto River, prepare for flooding and secure property now.  Make plans to prepare for an evacuation ahead of Wednesday.
 
In Horry County, state and local officials are monitoring the Little Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers.  As of Monday morning, the Waccamaw River was at 15.16 feet.  Officials expect the river to crest at 16.4 feet by the end of this week.  The Little Pee Dee River in Galivants Ferry was at 11 feet Sunday morning.  It is expected to crest at 13.1 feet.  Both of these rivers will be higher than the water level recorded during the October 2015 floods.  Take precaution now to secure belongings if you live near these rivers.
 
Goods & Price Gouging 
Residents can expect some difficulties finding basic supplies upon re-entry.  It’s not that these goods aren’t available, but it’s difficult to transport them to stores.  If you suspect price-gouging, report all instances to the South Carolina Attorney General’s office.  Visit http://www.scag.gov/archives/29112 for information.
 
Sightseeing in Storm-Damaged Areas
People should not travel to storm-damaged areas for the purposes of sightseeing. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources officers will be conducting river sweeps to make sure no one is on flooded waterways.
 
Debris Clean-up
Homeowners can call 1-800-451-1954 to request volunteers from Helping Hands to assist with debris clean-up and mold mitigation.
 
Power Outages & Generators
There are currently more than 500,000 people without power across the state.  Power crews will assess electrical damage in certain areas once evacuation orders have been lifted and they can safely travel to inspection sites.  For questions regarding power, please contact your local power provider.

Do not operate generators out of garages, as that increases the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.  
 
Boil Water Advisories
For information on boil water advisories, visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
 
Private Well Assistance
The S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control is waiving the testing fee for private wells. Residents with questions about private wells should call 803-898-4312.
 

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