Highway officials in South Carolina have finally reopened a portion of Interstate 95 that had been closed for more than a week following record-shattering rainfall.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation reopened the southbound lanes of I-95 on Monday morning. The northbound lanes remain closed but are expected to reopen Monday night or Tuesday.
The 13-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Clarendon County had been shut down due to issues with the bridges over the Black and Pocotaglio rivers. It had been closed for days following what has been described as a “1,000-year flood event” that saw in excess of two feet of rain dumped on parts of the state. At least 19 people have died as a result of the storms and flooding, including one SCDOT employee whose pickup truck was swept away by surging floodwaters.
In a press conference on Monday, Gov. Nikki Haley said the state’s emergency response is transitioning from “a massive response situation to a massive recovery situation.”
“If we thought we worked last week, we’re working double-time this week,” Gov. Haley said during the press conference.
The governor reported that there were no county closings, airport or transit issues, and that no additional fatalities have been reported. A total of 19 individuals died as a result of flooding following the storms.
As of Monday, 214 state-maintained roads and 95 state-maintained bridges remained closed, according to SCDOT’s website.
SCDOT also began implementing a storm debris removal program on Monday for counties in the flood-affected areas.
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