COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The latest on the rainstorm that pounded parts of the East Coast (all times local):
Authorities say another person has died in historic flooding that has inundated South Carolina’s capital city.
Richland County authorities told local news outlets an 82-year-old man who had been missing was found dead in his vehicle Monday. Richland County Sheriff’s Lt. Curtis Wilson says the man’s car had been underwater in a residential area north of downtown Columbia.
The man’s name hasn’t been released. So far, the state Department of Public Safety says there have been 11 weather-related deaths in South Carolina. Two other deaths in North Carolina have been blamed on the storm.
Power has been restored to thousands of residents drying out after torrential rains and flooding throughout South Carolina.
South Carolina Electric and Gas says that less than 1,000 residents are without power early Tuesday. Duke Energy says only a handful of its customers are still waiting for electricity to come back on.
That’s compared with more than 25,000 outages statewide Monday morning. That figure included about 6,000 outages among the state’s electric cooperatives, and their updated figures had not yet been released Tuesday morning.
Hundreds of roads and bridges remain closed in South Carolina as engineers work to determine the safety of many thoroughfares after historic flooding.
The state Department of Transportation says nearly 500 roads and bridges are still closed Tuesday morning. Many of those are in the Columbia area, which registered record rainfall this week.
A 90-mile stretch of Interstate 95 is still closed between Interstates 20 and 26 due to flooding and overall poor road conditions.
Officials are warning residents not to try to drive through or around standing water and debris that have covered many roadways. There have been at least 10 deaths in South Carolina since the storms started last week, while there have been two storm-related deaths in North Carolina.
Officials across South Carolina are imploring people to donate water to residents in the state’s flood-ravaged capital city area.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said in a news release overnight that his officers took 7,000 bottles of water to Lexington County on Monday, and they were all distributed in two hours.
He says his officers are accepting more donations until noon Tuesday and will take them down to the Columbia area.
Along South Carolina’s southern coastline, the towns of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island are asking residents to drop off water donations at the Beaufort County Association of Realtors office.
And in Aiken, sheriff’s deputies are seeking donations of bottled water and packaged supplies to send to first responders in the area.
Water has been shut off for many residents in the Columbia area due to multiple water main breaks in the wake of historic flooding. People who do still have water service are being asked to boil it for at least one minute before drinking or cooking.
South Carolina is expecting sunshine Tuesday after days of wet weather, but it will take weeks for things to return to normal from a historic rainstorm.
Even as the rain tapered off, officials warned of the likelihood of new evacuations. That was illustrated Monday afternoon when an evacuation was ordered in one of two towns east of downtown Columbia where two dams were breached.
Gov. Nikki Haley warned communities downstream that a mass of rainwater working its way toward the low-lying coast could cause more flooding and displace more residents.
At least 12 weather-related deaths in two states were blamed on the vast rainstorm, including those of five people who drowned in their cars in Columbia alone.
A solid week of rainfall also sent about 1,000 to shelters and left about 40,000 without drinkable water.