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Richland County plans to resume normal operations Monday

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By Licia Jackson
ljackson@scbiznews.com
Published Oct. 9, 2015

Richland County officials plan to get back to normal operations of county offices on Monday, County Council Chairman Torrey Rush said Friday.

Offices will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., as crews have completed search of 95% of the county to check for residents trapped by floodwater or otherwise needing assistance. A total of 8,110 homes have been checked, Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said.

Shelters in the county served 108 people overnight. “We’re starting the process to close the shelters and move anyone left to alternate locations,” said Michael Byrd, emergency services director. He expects that process to begin later today or Saturday.

Food and water are still available at the shelters at St. Andrews Middle School, Lower Richland High School and A.C. Flora High School for those who need it.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be opening disaster recovery centers in the county, where residents can apply for assistance, Byrd said.

The midnight-to-6 a.m. curfew will be in effect through Monday morning. Most people have been abiding by it, Sheriff Leon Lott said.

Extra law enforcement teams have been added in areas devastated by the floods to help protect property. Two other individuals were arrested for going into cars left behind after flooding, and they will face felony charges, Lott said.

“At night it is still very dangerous to drive,” Lott said. He also asked that people not drive into areas damaged by flooding, as this complicates the work of cleaning up and providing services.

Specialized teams have helped reach heavily flooded areas in Eastover and Hopkins, Jenkins said. The fire department will be transitioning from rescue mode to its normal operations, and it has tanker trucks available for fire suppression in areas where water service has not resumed.

Here are some phone numbers for residents:

  • County ombudsman: 803-929-6000
  • To donate goods and services: 888-585-9643
  • FEMA assistance: 800-621-3362

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