December 03
SCDOT Reviews Flood Damage & Costs with SCDOT Commission

Interim SCDOT Secretary Christy A. Hall reported the damage costs to South Carolina's Highway System as a result of the 1,000 year flood stands at $137 million.

Of that $137 million figure, the federal share amounts to $88 million. FEMA funds only amount to $25 million of the federal funds. The state share of the costs total $49 million.

Approximately $20 million of the state share will be used for latent flood damage that could occur in the next 12-18 months. The Secretary presented this information as part of a review of the October flood to the SCDOT Commission at its December 3rd meeting in Columbia.

The cost figures are the result of SCDOT's pre-storm plan to contain costs and maximize reimbursements. That plan included:

  • Using SCDOT's Maintenance forces for emergency response and recovery operations.
  • Pre-positioning contracts for faster response and higher reimbursements, particularly in the area of debris collection and removal.
  • The goal was to repair highway facilities as much as possible and replace only when the damage was beyond repair.

Secretary Hall said the goal was to reopen roads as quickly as possible. "Our mission was to restore the roads and bridges to their previous condition before the flood and ensure they were safe for the public to use once more," said Hall. A summary of SCDOT's recovery operations completed (as of 12/3/15) include:

  • Peak closures reached 541 on one day (October 5)
  • Current closures as of 12/3 total only 58 in less than 60 days after the flood event.
  • Of the 58 remaining closures, 32 active projects are in place to reopen those facilities.
  • 26 of the remaining closures involve dams which SCDOT does not own.

Secretary Hall recounted SCDOT's "work list" during the recovery:

  • Work was performed on 900 sites on the state highway system.
  • 221 of those sites involved bridges.
  • 105 of those bridges have been repaired and placed back in service following two inspections for safety.
  • Three of the bridges being replaced were scheduled for replacement prior to the flood.
  • An additional 18 bridges are beyond repair and will be replaced.

Secretary Hall said the ability to accomplish the recovery work so far and return the state system to its pre-storm condition in the past 60 days was due to the efforts of the SCDOT Team, contractors, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Team, FEMA, Team South Carolina partners and Governor Nikki Haley. "We also appreciate the patience of the public as we and our partners work to restore the state's highway system," said Hall.


A two-slide recap of SCDOT's estimated total event costs are in this link: