Edisto Gardens flooding

Water on the river side of Edisto Memorial Gardens reached the arch on the swinging bench during the height of the October flooding.

LARRY HARDY/T&D

Claims of individual flood damage continue to increase in The T&D Region, reaching an estimated $1.2 million through Friday.

About 4,441 Orangeburg County residents have filed claims with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The hardest-hit areas were in the eastern part of the county near Eutawville and Holly Hill.

In Calhoun County, 359 residents have filed claims totaling $40,000. Hardest hit were the Stumphole area of the county and along the low-lying areas of the Congaree River.

Ninety-four people in Bamberg County have filed claims. A total dollar amount was not released. The heaviest damage was in low-lying areas near the South Edisto River.

Calhoun County Emergency Services Director Bill Minikiewicz said individual claims continue to increase.

"There is a lot that has not been settled yet," Minkiewicz said. "It is changing every day."

FEMA spokesman William C. Lindsey said, "We want people to stay in touch with their recovery and if they have any questions to call or go to a disaster-recovery center where they can get immediate answers to their questions."

The maximum grant an individual can receive is $33,000, he said.

"The main thing is that if they have any problems with a declaration and are not eligible, it is usually because something is not filled out," Lindsey said. "The SBA (Small Business Administration) packet is very crucial. We want people to fill out the whole packet so they know all their available resources."

Orangeburg County

In Orangeburg County, damage to roads, infrastructure and public buildings totals approximately $365,000, which is above the required $324,663 FEMA theshold for public disaster assistance.

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

Orangeburg County Emergency Services Director Billy Staley said the $365,000 in public damage excludes municipalities.

"Most county roads are all up and running," Staley said Friday.

S.C. Highway 6 in the Eutawville area still had water covering the road and there were also reports of some flooding in the same area.

Flood damage in Orangeburg County included:

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

"They were primarily roof leaks," Staley said.  "We are pursuing getting the repairs done."

Calhoun County

Public damage in Calhoun County totals $372,751.

Damage included:

  • 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. Minikiewicz said the pipe has been temporarily repaired.
  • The county's Department of Social Services and Department of Health and Environmental Control building sustained $175,000 in damage. It will require the removal of carpets and sheet rock.

"That is in the works," Minikiewicz said, noting county building officials were talking about rushing through the mitigation because of mold in the building.

The St. Matthews sewage-treatment plant suffered between $25,000 and $30,000 in damage, including $15,700 to the plant's pumps and wiring. The remaining portion includes fencing and sedimentation ponds.

Town officials are still waiting on a response from FEMA and an insurance adjuster on what kind of assistance is available.

  • About $74,751 for roads, labor, materials, fuel, equipment and equipment hours.

Minikiewicz said all roads in the county to his knowledge have been temporarily repaired.

As of Friday afternoon, Minikieiwicz said the county has yet to hear whether it qualifies for FEMA assistance for public damage sustained during the flood.

The county needs to meet a $53,000 threshold of public damage to receive a FEMA grant.

Bamberg County

In Bamberg County 40 roads and 84 homes were damaged. As of Friday, all roads are passable in the county, according to county emergency officials.

A total dollar amount related to public damage was also unavailable Friday.

The county would have to exceed $55,085 in damage to qualify for public disaster assistance.

Road closures

There are three Orangeburg County state-maintained roads still closed.

They are:

  • South Carolina Highway 6 from Garden Gate Road to 100 feet east of S-38-138. The road is expected to reopen by Oct. 31.
  • Bonner Avenue from U.S. 15 to U.S. 301. The anticipated opening date is Nov. 26.
  • Cleveland Street from Santee State Park to S-563. The road is closed due to a bridge collapse. The anticipated opening date is Nov. 26.

There are currently three Calhoun County state-maintained roads still closed because of road washout. The anticipated opening date for all three is after Nov. 26.

  • Community Club Road -- from S.C. 6 to McCords Ferry Road.
  • Tynah Road -- from S.C. 267 to S-72.
  • Church Camp Road -- from S.C. 33 to Dwight Swamp Road.

There are no state maintained roads or dirt roads closed in Bamberg County.

Disaster-recovery centers

There are a number of disaster recovery centers open in The T&D Region. The centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The locations are:

Orangeburg County YMCA at 2550 St. Matthews Road.

Holly Hill at 8423 Old State Road in the government complex.

Neeses Town Hall, 6357 Savannah Highway.

John Ford Community Center at 304 Agnes St. St. Matthews.

It is not necessary to visit a center to register for and receive state and federal disaster assistance. If possible, survivors should register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center.

To register, go online to DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. Help is available in most languages, and phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

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

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Business Reporter

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

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