As we approach the one-year anniversary of the South Carolina flood event, I want to take a look at just how much damage was done: By Monday, October 5, 2015, 35 of South Carolina's 46 counties were declared federal disaster areas; over 800 swift water rescues were conducted; 19 citizens in South Carolina lost their life, while 2 North Carolina resident passed away; and the state suffered millions of dollars of damage.
The event was caused by a cold front that moved through the Southeast. The front stalled just off shore because of Hurricane Joaquin, which churned in the warm waters over the Bahamas. An upper level low also moved through the Southeast creating a perfect storm setup for heavy rain in South Carolina.
Sunday, October 4th marked the peak of the event. The day created widespread flooding seen from the Midlands through the Low Country. Many places saw 12 inches or more of rain.
Columbia and the Grand Strand regions saw some of the hardest hit areas. In Columbia, 51 dams were breached, according to WLTX. One year later, only 4 have been repaired. State officials are working with local land owners to fix damaged dams.
In the Grand Strand region, numerous homes, businesses, and farms were damaged by the flood. The worst damage was in Horry County along the Waccamaw River near Conway. Over 600 dirt roads in the county suffered major damage, according to WPDE-TV. Nearly a year later, only about half of the roads have been fully repaired.
Thousands of homes from Little River to North Myrtle Beach also received damage. Horry County has yet to receive any funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Funding is not anticipated until 2017.
FEMA and the federal Small Business Administration have distributed $11 million to 5,000 people living in county, according to Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster. Many homeowners along the Waccamaw River are using the funds to raise their homes at least 8 feet off the ground.
Local farmers have yet to be reimbursed for their damages. myrtlebeachonline.com reported. Farmers expect their bills to go unpaid until they receive federal assistance. Agriculture is one of South Carolinas top industries.
This historic flooding event caused an estimated $12 billion of damage in South Carolina. The National Flood Insurance Program claims that 99% of the claims have been processed and completed. Disaster unemployment was extended to over 650 residents who lost their jobs due to the floods. Over 11,000 folks still receive rental assistance.