Operating Condition Level Improved: As of Oct. 15, the OPCON Level of Readiness for Richland County has improved to level 4. Level 5 is normal, day-to-day operations.
Water Distribution Sites Closing: Richland County will begin decommissioning some of its water distribution sites this weekend. The following sites will cease water distribution operations at 6:30 p.m. on the following days:
• 3700 Landmark Drive, Friday, Oct. 16
• Columbia Place Mall, Friday, Oct. 16
• Crane Creek Community Center, Saturday, Oct. 17
• Forest Heights Elementary School, Saturday, Oct. 17
The following water distribution sites will remain operational until further notice:
• Lower Richland, 2615 Lower Richland Blvd.
• Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, 760 Campground Road
Tetanus Shots: DHEC is providing no-cost Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccinations from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrews Park, 902 Beatty Road.
Heroes Helping the Community: Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is teaming up with Buffalo Wild Wings, 4500 Devine St., to help raise funds for local flood victims. Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 10 percent of proceeds from Friday, Monday and Wednesday to the American Red Cross flood relief efforts in the community. EMS representatives will be at the restaurant to meet and thank patrons for helping with the fundraiser.
Helping the Heroes: Several businesses, churches, organizations and individuals donated meals, snacks and beverages to help feed Richland County’s first responders and other workers during the flood crisis.
Flood Repair Permitting Open House: This open house will help answer residents' questions about the flood repair and rebuilding permitting process:
• 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 at Kilbourne Park Baptist Church, 4205 Kilbourne Road
• 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19 at Woodland Park, 6500 Olde Knight Pkwy.
• 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19 at M.L. Smith Community Center, 5213 Farrow Road, across the street from the Greater St. Luke Baptist Church
The Flood Repair Permitting Open House is 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.
Beware of Mold: Richland County building officials urge residents whose homes were affected by the floods to make sure items such as sheetrock, duct work, insulation or other parts of the home that got wet are thoroughly dried – or replaced. Don’t be fooled because water has receded and surfaces may appear dry. Moisture caught behind walls and under floors can lead to mold growth, which can affect a person’s health. This warning is especially important with the onset of cooler weather because heated homes can aid mold growth.
Richland County Utilities Water Safe to Drink: Customers served by the Richland County Utilities Department Water System did not experience any interruption in water service or loss of water quality during the recent flood event. Dedicated in February 2012, the system serves about 500 homes and businesses in the Lower Richland community.
Lower Richland Donation Drive: Councilman Kelvin Washington, District 10, has organized a donation drive for the Lower Richland County community. Donors can drop off items from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday at the warehouse located at 1601 Shop Road. Items needed are non-perishable food items, furniture, baby diapers and wipes and bottled water. (At this time, clothes and shoes are not needed.)
Tax Tips for Replacing Flooded Vehicles: The Richland County Auditor offers the following tips for residents whose vehicles were destroyed in the flood:
• If you intend to purchase another automobile of a higher value and your tag expires within two months, pay the taxes on your old vehicle first and then transfer the license plate to your new vehicle. This will give you a longer period of time before you pay taxes on the newer automobile.
• If you intend to purchase another vehicle before paying your taxes and updating your license plate, then the taxes will be due when your license plate expires on the new automobile.
• If you intend to purchase a vehicle and let the dealer purchase your license plate then you will have 120 days from the date of purchase to pay the property taxes on the new vehicle.
• If you do not intend to replace your vehicle, then you must turn in the license plate at the Department of Motor Vehicles and receive the form 5051. Bring, fax or email the 5051 form to the Auditor’s Office and receive a refund for the months remaining on the license plate.
Well Water Testing: DHEC urges residents with wells to take precautions to ensure their water is safe to drink. DHEC offers instructions for disinfecting wells and well water testing supplies and results at some of its locations. For more information, click here or visit www.scdhec.gov/.
Tax Relief for Flood Victims: For information concerning tax relief for residents and businesses affected by the floods, contact the SC Department of Revenue at 803-898-5000, Option 2 or visit the agency’s website at http://www.dor.sc.gov/flood-tax-relief.
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: Flood-related debris will be collected 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.
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