Governor Nikki Haley held another press conference this afternoon at the Emergency Management Division office, where she described the state as entering the “second big wave.”
Haley announced that Calhoun, Darlington, Florence, Kershaw and Lee counties were added to the federal disaster declaration, and said FEMA will be assessing Bamberg, Abbeville and Colleton sometime today. The governor did however clarify that all citizens affected by the flood, regardless of their location, will receive assistance of some kind, and those in need should register for FEMA assistance at 1-800-621-FEMA. You can also register at disasterassistance.gov.
A representative from FEMA said that 1.5 million dollars was currently in use for the citizens of South Carolina and 19,700 people have been registered at this time. The representative explained that assessors are currently on the ground and will have identification, and reminded South Carolinians to ask for assessors to provide that identification for their own safety.
Haley and her team have put particular focus on three areas of concern. The Governor explained that in the next twelve hours, Georgetown is expected to flood and could remain flooded for up to twelve days, unlike other areas where water has receded.
Highways 151 and 251 are already closed; Highways 17 and 701 are expected to close. All of these will be impassable due to flooding. This water could also remain for up to twelve days.
The second issue to be considered is the potential flooding of Jamestown in the next 72 hours. Highway 31 is expected to be impassable.
Finally, Givens Ferry is expected to rise another one to two feet in the next 72 hours. “Anyone south of Givens Ferry is going to have a problem,” the Governor said.
Highway 651 and Alternate 17 are also being looked at, and it is assumed they will also be closed.
Haley reminded those in the area and those with family or friends in the area that this is unlike a hurricane situation, and staying will not be an option for many people. Anyone with a question regarding the roads or their area should call EMD at 1-866-246-0133.
There remain 409 road closures, 148 of which are bridge closures. The 13-mile stretch of I-95 remains vulnerable and is still closed.
“South Carolina may be bruised, but we are not broken.” the Governor concluded. “The scars will be a reminder. A reminder of how strong we are, a reminder of how faithful we are, and a reminder of how we have really been resilient through anything that comes our way.