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FLOOD UPDATE: Fire Department, Palmetto Health open medical bus

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Staff Reports
Published Oct. 12, 2015

The Columbia Fire Department and Palmetto Health today opened a Metropolitan Emergency Response Vehicle – also known as a medical bus – to serve as a community first aid station for residents near the South Beltline Boulevard area.

Volunteer physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and paramedics from Richland County Emergency Medical Services will be on hand to take care of wounds, tetanus shots, and provide general medical care.

The medical bus will be parked at 100 Whispering Pines Circle. Hours are from noon to 6 p.m.

Drinkable water restored at hospitals

Palmetto Health Baptist and Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge have resumed normal use of water for drinking, bathing and other patient care needs. Drinkable water service was restored earlier at Palmetto Health Richland (5 Medical Park) and Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

water rescue

A swift water rescue firefighter from Columbia, Tenn., paddles through floodwater while conducting wellness checks on the residents of Brown's Ferry in Georgetown County on Sunday.  (Photo/U.S. Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago)

The water supply, managed by the S.C. Army National Guard, will be in place until the City of Columbia removes the boil water advisory, Palmetto Health said. City water will be used for other needs such as air conditioning and certain equipment.

The boil water advisory remains in effect at Palmetto Health Heart Hospital and Richland Springs. There is a plan being developed to provide potable water at the Heart Hospital today.

A guide to flood resources

The Richland County Library’s website has a wealth of information on dealing with flood recovery, from a list of schools serving lunches for children to how to restore water-damaged items.

Go to and click on Emergency Resources.

South Carolina Film Institute lost: The South Carolina Film Institute may have to close its doors on Devine Street after being hit with $30,000 in damages and lost equipment due to flooding. The institute in a nonprofit that provides filmmakers a place to gain experience, build a resume’ and earn film credits. A page has been set up to raise funds to help the film institute.

Foundation sets up fund for flood victims

The 11 Midlands counties served by Central Carolina Community Foundation in Columbia have all been hurt by recent flooding. In response, the foundation has established the S.C. Flood Relief Fund to address the pressing needs of flood disaster victims, with 100% of the money going directly to local grassroots organizations aiding those in need. To donate, go to

The foundation’s board has provided initial funding of $50,000, and additional donations have been received from across the country. Harvest Hope Food Bank is the recipient of the first fundraising grant from the S.C. Flood Relief Fund.

United Way of the Midlands accepting donations for flood relief: The United Way of the Midlands is accepting contributions to its Flood Disaster Relief Fund. All funds raised will be directed to local organizations working to assist individuals and families affected by this crisis. United Way will underwrite all administrative costs associated with dispersing these funds, and 100% of funds received will go directly to supporting flood recovery efforts.

Remember to recycle

As most of Columbia has been under a boil-water advisory, plastic water bottles and jugs are everywhere. Please remember to recycle these bottles and jugs in your haulers’ collection carts. The Recycling Market Development effort of the S.C. Department of Commerce is working with the state’s manufacturers who need plastic from recycled bottles to make carpets, fabrics and other products.

SCDOT launches debris removal

Contractors began work today in five counties hit hard by last weekend’s floods. The counties are:

Georgetown – Trucks will be monitoring the Andrews area for pickup of storm debris.

Horry – Trucks will be monitoring the Socastee and Longs areas for pickup of storm debris.

Lexington – Forces will be on Cainbrook Drive; Coldstream subdivision in Irmo; and Harrogate Road in St. Andrews (near Bush River Road).

Richland – Forest Acres area outside the Columbia city limits.

Sumter – Forces will be in the City of Sumter in areas south and west of US-76 Business.

Contractors are currently prioritizing debris removal based on areas that can be safely accessed for debris removal operations. Residents of impacted counties are asked to place any storm-generated debris on the public right-of-way. Residents should not place debris on the right-of-way if they have or will receive insurance funding to privately dispose of household debris covered by their insurance policy. SCDOT will only collect storm generated debris for which residents are not receiving insurance funding to privately dispose of.

Flood buckets needed

Volunteers are being asked to put together Flood Buckets for survivors. Items to include 5 gallon bucket, sponges and scrub brushes, heavy duty gloves, retractable utility knife, mold control spray, and bleach and disinfectant.

To find where to drop off the Flood Buckets, call the S.C. Baptist Convention Relief Center at (803) 227-6031.

Other organizations are coordinating activities to collect items of need. The S.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church is delivering health and school supply kits throughout the community.

Clean-up kits, pet food available

The American Red Cross is providing clean-up kits, with bleach and other items, as well as dog food and water at 1703 Atlas Road.

Columbia resumes garbage pickup

The city’s Solid Waste Division resumed regular garbage and recycling services on Monday, with the exception of yard waste. For more information or to report lost roll carts, please visit or call the Solid Waste Division at 803-545-3800.

AT&T contributes to relief effort

AT&T has announced a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross in support of its disaster relief and storm recovery efforts. AT&T is also launching a text-to-give donation program benefiting the Red Cross disaster relief effort.

Volunteers needed to clean up debris removal

The United Way of South Carolina is asking for volunteers who can help victims clean debris from their flood-stricken homes and sort the debris at the curb. United Way requests that volunteers register at

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