Columbia area avoids serious flooding from Hermine

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – Tropical Storm Hermine appears to have spared the Columbia area from serious flooding. As of 8 p.m. Friday night, the state Emergency Management Division said the only flooding reported in the Midlands was some in the Sumter area, but it was in areas that are prone to flooding. The Midlands area was under either a flash flood watch or warning all day and night.

Columbia was hard-hit by the historic flooding last October, and some businesses are still closed and numerous homes are still uninhabitable. Much of that flood damage was caused by dams that failed because of the record rainfall. Most of those dams have yet to be rebuilt, which means there was no threat this time from those lakes because the lakes don’t exist.

However there are other dams and lakes, and Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker says the agency was watching them closely. “The Department of Health and Environmental Control had made contact with all of the private dam owners to lower their levels. They did that yesterday as everybody was preparing for the storm. That’s one of the things that here at the state Emergency Operations Center we’re monitoring very closely with DHEC, to see if there are any types of safety precautions that need to be taken as the brunt of the storm really affects South Carolina.”

There rain fell steadily all day in Columbia and the winds picked up in the afternoon as Hermine came through the area, but there were no reports of flooding. The Columbia Fire Department reports numerous trees down, some of which fell on homes.

The Emergency Management Division activated the state Emergency Operations Center Friday morning, to monitor the storm and keep in touch with the counties for any requests from them for state help. Becker says there was only one request: Darlington County asked for 1,000 sandbags, which the state provided.

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