The massive flooding disaster taking place in South Carolina, where a storm dumped nearly 2 feet of rain in the central part of the state this month, has been named the ‘1000 year’ event. Floodwaters have caused the roads to be inundated with damage. The utilities, dams and homes have caused a state of emergency with horrendous conditions. Due to the destruction the floods have caused, many local as well as out of state resources, have been arriving on the scene in South Carolina to assist in the cleanup work. As of last week, 269 roads and 134 bridges were closed, mostly in the central and coastal portions of South Carolina, according to the state’s DOT. Fourteen dams have failed around the state, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, and another 70 have been put on a watch list. Seventeen of South Carolina’s 46 counties were receiving disaster assistance and the estimated cleanup costs are expected to top $1 billion.
Municipalities may need help cleaning out manholes, drains and pits. Industries and stores where flooding has occurred may have unknown chemicals lurking in the area of the sewer system and crews are taking extra safety precautions to avoid sweeping harmful contaminants into the sewer systems. The anticipation of needs from private housing and development, such as tanks needing to be removed and cleaned out, are all being taken into consideration. The City is using trenchless technology for repairing damaged sewer structures as it is the best utilization of equipment and the safest option when dealing with a flood catastrophe. The use of conventional methods of excavation may pose more potential life hazards than the actual flooding. Residents of South Carolina were also placed under a boil advisory after historic flooding damaged waterlines throughout the city’s distribution system.