Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Emergency Response Team continues to caution residents of potential dangers of rising waters, including those associated with neighborhood dams and flooding.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has been contacted by dam operators and made aware of several dams across the state that have overtopped, and some that have failed.
“If you live below a small, neighborhood dam, please be vigilant of its status,” said DHEC Director of Environmental Affairs Elizabeth Dieck. “We would strongly encourage you to pay attention to local news reports that can contain important information about the status of your dam. Be prepared to take appropriate actions you feel are necessary for your safety or as directed by your local emergency officials.”
Avoid floodwater at all costs. Do not walk through floodwater and do not play in it. Rising water from flooding can carry viruses, bacteria, chemicals and other submerged objects picked up as it moves through storm water systems, across industrial sites, yards, roads and parking lots. These threats can cause serious illness, injury and drowning, and should be avoided. Flooding can also create situations in which animals, reptiles and insects can be more likely to come in contact with humans, resulting in bites and stings.
If you receive your drinking water from a private well and have experienced flooding, take precautions to boil your water before drinking.
If you are on the City of Columbia water system, you should boil your water before drinking. For other water systems, you will be told if you need to boil your water. If you haven’t heard and want to be sure, contact them directly, or boil your water as a safety precaution.
Residents with questions about the statewide ongoing flooding incident can call the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) 24-hour public information line at 1-866-246-0133.