Emergency officials say the recent, historic flooding led to at least $1.2 million in damage to public and private property in The T&D Region. They continue to tally the costs.

"I would put this storm as having a harder impact on the citizens and a longer impact on the citizens," Orangeburg County Emergency Services Director Billy Staley said.

The county's property sustained more damage in the flood than during the 2014 ice storm, he said. "We did not have the infrastructure damage during the ice storm. It was more cleanup."

Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg county officials are still tallying the damage. Their estimates currently stand at about $1.2 million, taking into account both public infrastructure damage and claims for private property damage.

Final damage assessment numbers may not be available until next week.

Orangeburg County does not have any hard numbers for the total public damage, but says it is in excess of $300,000.

Damage includes:

  • Farnum Road drainage pipe and road blowout.
  • Stacey Bridge Road drainage pipe and road blowout.
  • Roof damage to a handful of county government buildings.

For the county to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency public disaster assistance, it must reach a damage threshold of $324,663. County officials are confident they will meet the threshold to qualify for federal assistance.

FEMA will pay 75 percent of the cost and the county will be responsible for a 25 percent match.

FEMA and county emergency officials say 3,261 people in the Orangeburg County have applied for individual disaster recovery assistance. FEMA has paid out about $500,000 through Friday morning.

Statewide, about $27.6 million has been paid out with 52,250 applications made for assistance.

Calhoun County

Calhoun County Emergency Services Director Bill Minikiewicz said the estimated amount of public damage was about $372,751.

Also, FEMA has paid out about $11,000 for private damage. About 181 individuals filed claims for storm damage in the county.

Public property damage has to exceed $53,000 for FEMA to provide disaster assistance in the county. Minikiewicz said the county had yet to find out if it officially qualifies for the federal assistance by late Friday afternoon.

Public damage includes:

  • About 300 feet of Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities water pipe into the Cameron area was washed out at an estimated cost of $93,000
  • The county's Department of Social Services and Department of Health and Environmental Control building sustained $175,000 worth of damage. It will require the removal of carpets and sheet rock.
  • The St. Matthews sewage treatment plant suffered between $25,000 to $30,000 of damage, including $15,700 in damage to the plant's pumps and wiring. The remaining portion includes fencing and sedimentation ponds.
  • About $74,751 for roads, labor, materials, fuel, equipment and equipment hours.

Minikiewicz said both the public and individual disaster damage exceeds what the county experienced during the ice storm.

"This was worse," he said.

Bamberg County

Bamberg County Emergency Services Director Sharon Hammond said total damage assessments were still not available Friday.

About 39 individuals have filed for assistance with FEMA in the county, Hammond said.

"This is not as bad as the ice storm for us," Hammond said. "We had more people impacted and we had more of a geographic area affected.

“There was just a lot more to do. There was a lot of helping with the citizens and getting information to the citizens."

In Bamberg County, 84 homes and about 40 roads were affected by the flood. The county would have to exceed $55,085 worth of damage to qualify for public disaster assistance.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.


Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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