Back to Normal: State assessing damage after winter storm - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Back to Normal: State assessing damage after winter storm

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It may feel like spring now in much of the state, but the damage caused by last week's winter storm is just now starting to be assessed and tallied by state and federal agencies.

"We're getting back to normal and it's been far quicker than we expected," said Derrec Becker with the state Emergency Management Division.

But before things go back to normal, there are roadblocks to deal with -- literally.

"We're looking at 1 million cubic yards of debris statewide," said Becker. "Just the enormity and how widespread it's been throughout the state. That's why we're asking the federal government for assistance, because the counties just can't shoulder the cost of that operation if we want it done quickly."

A team of half a dozen FEMA inspectors is currently surveying damage across the state, but will not be providing relief for homeowners.

"The hallmarks for the large scale FEMA programs that everyone is used to is 100 uninsured homes, completely destroyed and we're just not seeing that," said Becker.

At this point, clean-up efforts to remove road debris rely on individual counties, the goodwill of your neighbors, or possibly even your insurance company.

"Residents are checking their insurance policies to see if they have debris clauses in there. Sometimes your insurance company will call a landscaper or contractor to come and clean up your yard," said Becker.

South Carolina's January snow storm cost the state around $2 million and emergency response staff say the number is expected to be much higher this time around.

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