COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is in the process of collecting damage reports from county emergency centers across the state in the wake of Thursday’s severe thunderstorms. So far preliminary information shows at the peak of the storm there were hundreds of road closures, thousands of power outages and almost a dozen water rescues.
Residents across the state for the worst as severe thunderstorms rolled into the Palmetto State Thursday morning.
In the Upstate, the storm wreaked havoc causing a tornado and flash flooding.
“It’s crazy man. This is the first tornado I’ve ever been in and it’s ridiculous but I’m blessed. We’re here,” said Dorothy Boyd, whose home was damaged in the storm.
At the storm’s full force there were more than 35,000 power outages statewide and hundreds of road closures. Local firefighters had to also rescue at least 11 people from flood waters.
Derrec Becker with SCEMD recapped some of the calls of assistance the agency received.
“Once it looked like the storm was effecting the upstate, we did receive four requests from county emergency operations centers for things for water rescues, barricades and things like that.”
Right now, emergency officials and essential agencies like SC Department of Transportation are switching from preparation to recovery. The agencies are dispatching crews to some of the hardest hit areas to determine where to begin.
Becker continued, “We have to get a full assessment of the damage our local emergency managers will be the first and they’ll report that to the state and if there is anything that qualifies for assistance, which it is unlikely in this case but we have to go through this proces to make sure.”
It will take a few days to survey the damage and determine what kind of impact this storm system really had on the state. In the meantime, emergency crews and state agencies will continue to work to re-open roads and get power restored.
At least 50 roads are still closed due to flooding. In Anderson County, the bridge over Hwy 81 is destroyed.