As the state’s historic flood waters continue to rise, the South Carolina Forestry Commission is working to ensure the safety of all residents.
Despite widespread property damage, the most tragic effect of this historic flood event is the loss of at least 15 lives. Our thoughts are with the families of those who have been lost.
Rainfall amounts in the areas most impacted were one to two feet or more this past weekend. The Commission has been participating in conference calls with Governor Haley, other state agencies and emergency response partners to provide information and assistance where possible.
The Commission has deployed its Incident Management Team to help the Columbia Fire Department and a multi-agency contingent with search and rescue, while chainsaw crews have fanned out across the stricken area to help with cleanup. Agency employees have also been providing staffing for the city and state emergency operations centers and giving additional support wherever it is needed most.
Many areas are still flooded and will continue to be impacted as rivers crest and enter populated areas. Homes have been flooded across the state, and property damage is extensive. Damage to agricultural fields is also widespread.
The Commission is working with the South Carolina Forestry Association and other partners to assess damages and determine action needed. Mills are reporting shortages of wood that are threatening continued operation and their inability to deliver finished products. Many loggers have not been able to operate since before the storm due to past wet weather and will not for quite a while longer. Damage to forest roads is also known to be extensive.
If you are aware of forestry-related damages or impacts, please let your local Forestry Commission office personnel know or contact the Columbia office at (803) 896-8800. This will help the Commission assist in assessing damages and impacts.