Flood Recovery Continues: Richland County Marks Historic Event; Replaces More Homes
Thursday, October 04, 2018
It’s been three years since Richland County experienced the historic October 2015 flood - a time that, for many, signifies loss and devastation.
To aid in the community’s recovery, Richland County has replaced and repaired more than 76 flood-damaged homes as of October 2018. Within the next 3 months, the County is scheduled to replace and repair a total of 55 homes. The County’s ultimate goal is to complete 267 homes by December 31, 2019.
“It’s disheartening to think of all of the damage and loss the County has faced as a result of the 2015 flood”, said Richland County Council Chair Joyce Dickerson, District 2. “However, I am so proud of our residents and staff for the progress we are seeing.”
Keeping the community involved, County staff continues to meet with the Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) established in 2015. The BRC is a group comprised of homeowners, community leaders and municipality representatives that make recommendations to County Council about flood recovery needs and priorities.
Since the federal government announced in February 2016 it would grant $23.5 million to Richland County, an additional $7.25 million was announced in May 2017. Collaborative efforts between the County, the United Way of the Midlands and the Midlands Flood Recovery Group led to 158 storm-damaged homes being repaired or rebuilt for residents, at no cost.
In August 2017, FEMA also approved the County’s application to purchase and demolish 79 damaged properties and pay the participating homeowners pre-flood value for their properties.
“We have been working closely with our residents and County Council to ensure flood-damaged homes are replaced and repaired,” said Michael King, Local Disaster Recovery Manager. “The County is on a good track and is set to complete the housing recovery project well before the 2022 deadline provided by HUD.” Since the announcement of all these grant awards, the County has been diligently working to ensure all Federal policies and requirements are met for proper expenditure of public funds.
Richland County’s flood recovery program has been lauded nationally for its transparency and public inclusion. Last year, County staff addressed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency staff about Richland County’s recovery procedures.
“It’s been an honor serving as Chair for our Blue Ribbon Committee,” said Richland County Councilmember Greg Pearce, District 6. “In this role, I’ve been able to witness the great strides the County has made to bring the community back to a place of wholeness. I know that our joint vision of restoration will continue to unfold as each flood-damaged home is replaced.”
For more information, visit richlandcountysc.gov/Flood-Recovery.