Flood Repair Permitting Open Houses: Two open houses will help answer residents' questions about the flood repair and rebuilding permitting process:
· 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 at the C.R. Neal Dream Center, 2430 Atlas Road, Columbia
· 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 at Kilbourne Park Baptist Church, 4205 Kilbourne Road, Columbia
The Flood Repair Permitting Open Houses are designed to answer homeowner and contractor questions about the permitting application process in a one-on-one setting. Flood Repair Permitting Open House attendees can learn whether their property is in a floodplain, pick up a permit application packet, determine their property value and have any questions regarding the application process answered. No permits will be issued at these meetings.
Water Distribution Sites: Richland County continues to operate four water distribution sites:
· Forest Heights Elementary School, 2500 Blue Ridge Terrace
· Columbia Mall, 7201 Two Notch Road
· Richland Co. Sheriff Substation, 2615 Lower Richland Blvd.
· 3700 Landmark Drive
Disaster Recovery Center Locations: FEMA mobile offices are at two Richland Library locations to assist residents affected by the flood with registering for disaster assistance, from 8 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week:
· Richland Library Southeast, 7421 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia
· Richland Library Eastover, 608 Main St., Eastover
Flood Debris Removal: Starting Wednesday, Richland County will begin picking up flood-related debris curbside. (This debris is separate from regular household garbage and recyclables that go in the green and lime green roll carts.) To help with debris collection, County officials urge residents to properly separate the items into piles – household, construction, vegetation, household hazardous waste, “white” goods with refrigerator/freezer doors secured with duct tape and electronics. To view a graphic illustrating the proper way to set out flood-related debris for removal, please visit www.rcgov.us or click here. If you have questions, please call 803-929-6000.
Beware of Fake FEMA Scam Artists: County officials urge residents to exercise caution against people posing as FEMA and other government officials. Avoid and/or report to law enforcement authorities anyone asking for personal information – such as Social Security numbers – offers promises to speed up insurance claims or demands cash or check deposits to do so.
Check Credentials Before Hiring Contractors: County officials urge residents to exercise caution when contracting for home repairs. When hiring a contractor, be sure to check their credentials – state licenses, local business license and permits are required. The Richland County Building and Inspections Department urges homeowners to use SC licensed contractors for all work and repairs for electrical, plumbing, gas and HVAC services. Some residents already have been approached by contractors for repairs or assistance. Please use caution. These individuals may not be licensed. Additionally, they may charge prices too high for the type of work they offer. If you plan to use a contractor, get photographs of the person, his/her driver’s license, vehicle and tag number. Also, be sure to have a signed contract. Please report any suspicious contractors to Richland County. During normal business hours, call 803-929-6000; after hours and weekends, call 803-576-2165 to leave a message.
Free Legal Assistance: The Richland County Probate Court urges residents to take advantage of free legal assistance available to flood victims. Flood victims facing legal issues who are unable to afford a lawyer may request assistance by calling 803-576-3815 or 877-797-2277, ext. 120 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Courts: The Pontiac Magistrate’s Office is closed until further notice due to flood damage. All scheduled court dates scheduled for October will be rescheduled. Residents served by the Pontiac office who need to file civil actions should contact the Waverly or Blythewood Magistrates. The Waverly Magistrate is located at 2712 Middleburg Drive, Suite 106, Columbia. Call 803-576-2590. The Blythewood Magistrate is located at 118 A McNulty St., Blythewood. Call 803-576-1580.
Foreclosure Sales: Judicial and Deficiency sales previously scheduled for October have been rescheduled by the Richland County Master in Equity. Judicial Sales will be held Nov. 2 and Deficiency Sales will be Nov. 4. For more information, call the Master in Equity at 803-576-1900.
COMET Rides: The COMET has resumed regular service hours on all routes except Route 88 Crosstown. All routes will operate fare-free until Sunday, Oct. 18. DART service is available for those with disabilities. For more details, visit The COMET online at www.catchthecomet.org or find it on Facebook and Twitter.
Updates and New Information: Richland County continues to provide the latest flood relief information through updates to its website, www.rcgov.us, and on social media. Twitter: @RichlandSC, Facebook: Richland County