COLUMBIA, S.C. –South Carolina is assessing the damage from Hurricane Matthew and starting the recovery process in some parts of the state, but flooding in the Pee Dee has the state’s Emergency Operations Center fully activated around the clock.
“There’s re-entry in most areas along the coast; not everywhere, but most areas along the coast, so things are proceeding I think reasonably well, given the circumstances,” says Emergency Management Division director Kim Stenson.
The EOC has had 671 requests from cities and counties for resources, things like generators, sandbags, aerial resources, and manpower and support staff. They’re also getting requests for food and water. They’re expecting more calls for assistance because of the flooding. “That’s what a lot of people here are kind of planning for and geared up for, is potential requests from local authorities to assist with water rescues or water evacuations along those rivers,” Stenson says.
As of Wednesday evening, about 145,000 people were without power, down from a peak of 850,000 right after the storm. There are 12 shelters open with about 100 people in them, most of them in the Florence and Myrtle Beach areas.
The president has signed a major disaster declaration for the state, which will provide federal aid for debris management and will also help pay for things like running the EOC around the clock for more than a week, the evacuation, and running shelters. Stenson says, “As we get better information on the damages, we could potentially see assistance for individuals and other categories of public assistance, and those would be like road repairs and bridge repairs and that sort of thing.”