The Latest: Governor: South Carolina moving into recovery

AP News
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Posted: Oct 12, 2015 12:57 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The latest on the flooding from a rainstorm that pounded South Carolina (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says the state is moving away from an emergency mode and into a recovery mode to deal with massive flooding earlier this month.

Haley says assessment teams will be out across the state to determine exactly how much damage the floods caused. She says it is too early to speculate on any kind of damage figure.

The governor says there will be teams of mental health professionals, insurance workers, unemployment specialists and other government employees going to hard-hit areas. She says she wants residents to get help where they area.

Haley said she won't decide until she has a better grasp on how much damage has occurred whether she will ask lawmakers to return before January to find money to pay for repairs. But Haley says she knows the Legislature will work with her to do whatever is needed.

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12:25 p.m.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin says the city will have to rebuild, stronger, smarter and with more resiliency after flooding that devastated the city last week.

Assistant City Manager Missy Gentry said Monday that the city's water supply is stable and secure, but officials don't expect to lift the boil-water advisory for most of the city in the next day or so.

Gentry also says progress has been made on a dam at the main water plant. There are backup plans to pump water from the Broad River and acquire water from West Columbia and Cayce if needed.

Richland School District One officials say they hope to resume classes later this week. Superintendent Craig Witherspoon says the main problems continue to be road damage, the effect on bus routes, and water pressure.

Sheriff Leon Lott says the curfew has been lifted in Columbia and Richland County.

The South Carolina State Fair is to open Wednesday as scheduled.

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9:45 a.m.

Interstate 95, the main East Coast interstate linking Maine to Miami, is reopening in South Carolina more than a week after a 16-mile stretch of the expressway was closed because of flooding.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation says that the southbound lanes on the stretch through a low-lying area in the middle of the state reopened at 8 a.m. Monday. The northbound lanes are expected to reopen later Monday or early Tuesday.

The busy interstate had been closed as workers repaired 13 small bridges damaged in the floods. The department says that 4,000 man hours were expended on the work.

While the highway was closed, drivers had to take a 170-mile detour through Columbia instead of the normal 75-mile drive on I-95 between Interstate 26 and Interstate 20. The added I-95 traffic often caused traffic jams on I-26 southeast of Columbia.

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7:40 a.m.

Rain-swollen rivers in eastern South Carolina are beginning to recede after this month's historic rains.

The National Weather Service on Monday reports that the Waccamaw River at Conway is now at 15.9 feet, down from 16.2 feet over the weekend. But still there is major flooding in the area where flood stage is 11 feet.

The Santee River near Jamestown is now at about 21 feet, down a foot from over the weekend. There is still moderate flooding in the area where flood stage is 10 feet.

And in Orangeburg, the north fork of the Edisto River is back down to 8 feet. That's flood stage in the area. But with weekend rains, that river is expected to rise again, cresting at over 9 feet by Thursday, causing minor flooding.

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6:35 a.m.

Transportation officials in South Carolina say more than 300 roads and bridges are still closed more than a week after flooding rains across much of the state.

The agency said parts of 224 roads were still closed early Monday.

The report also said 98 bridges remained closed because of damage or worries that bridge supports might be damaged.