Each time a hurricane sets its sights on South Carolina, comparisons are made to the past. The historic flooding caused by Hurricane Joaquin in 2015 will affect how local residents recover from Hurricane Florence, which might claim the title of “the worst storm to hit the region in decades.”
Three years ago, the Columbia area was caught off guard. The heavy, continuous rain brought catastrophic flooding that peaked in South Carolina on October 4. Numerous rivers burst their banks and washed away roads, bridges, vehicles, and homes. Hundreds of people required rescue. However, in the last three years, local leaders believe they are better prepared them for disasters.
Lessons For The City
Over the three years, the city, county, and federal government have made repairs and prepared for the future. For example:
City officials revamped emergency response strategies, including better coordination among city departments and local agencies. Since Joaquin, the emergency reservoir at the canal has been cleaned, has increased capacity, and has additional processes controlling flow entering the canal.
Since 2015, many of those broken water lines have not just been repaired but relocated underneath creeks, as opposed to above them. Should creeks rise dangerously again, many of those lines will be less vulnerable to breaking in the future, Shealy said.
One concern is that Colombia’s main source of drinking water for 188,000 people in the capital city, the Columbia Canal, was not permanently repaired after a major breach during the 2015 flood. A sturdy rock dam had been the temporary fix for the past three years. Additional funds are needed for permanent repairs.
Additionally, from the federal government, substantial structural repairs had been made to 18 bridges along 13 miles of Interstate 95.
Lessons For Residents
Whether your home suffered during the last storm or was left unscathed, experience has taught South Carolina some important lessons.
Buy The Right Policy
Preparing for disasters requires a proactive approach. In order to protect your assets, you must understand what your current homeowners’ policies cover (and don’t cover.) Flood damage is NOT a part of a normal policy; you must buy a separate flood damage contract. And the best time to review, understand the scope of your insurance, and make any changes is before a loss happens.
“Turn Around, Don’t Drown”
The NOAA’s National Weather Service “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” public information campaign has helped people heed the warning. People can be swept off their feet in as little as 6 inches of water and cars float at 12 inches. Occupants do not realize the danger of driving a vehicle into flood waters; it takes minutes in the right conditions for a meandering stream to become a torrent.
Take Care Of Your (Mental) Health
Adrenaline got you through the storm, but now you need to take care and process the emotions, drama, and stress. Notice when you are more easily aggravated or feel overwhelmed. Studies show that after a storm, human resilience (the ability to bounce back) takes time to return to relatively stable, healthy levels of psychological and physical functioning.
Talk to others. A strong community boosts the group resilience after disturbance. There is no need to suffer alone as you heal so reach out.
Hire Experts In Columbia
Whether recovering as a city or as a homeowner- it is important to hire trusted, experienced experts. If you’ve been affected by flooding, contact Sincerely Yours water damage restoration specialists. Using state-of-the-art drying equipment, thermal imaging, and structural drying, they will restore your home or business to the highest quality standards.
Sincerely Yours has been handling water damage emergencies since 1959 in the Columbia area. Count on their expertise and historic flood experience to serve you with the fastest, easiest cleanup possible.
Call (803)714-3598 or visit callsyi.com