Two years after the 1,000-year floods, why aren't we fully recov - - Columbia, South Carolina

Two years after the 1,000-year floods, why aren't we fully recovered?

(Source: WISTV) (Source: WISTV)

It’s been two years since the October 2015 historic flood, and there is still much work left to be done.

On Devine Street in Columbia, the damage is evident right in the middle of a busy shopping area. The Title Max building, which collapsed during the heavy rainfall in early October 2015, still sits untouched and fenced off.

It’s one of 79 properties awaiting federal funding from FEMA in Richland County before it can be demolished and reset. The hold-up is at the federal level, as FEMA responds to recent disasters, like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Councilman Seth Rose, representing Richland County’s District 5, told WIS that while frustrating for many as these eyesores seem to persist, the county has been in constant communication with those who are waiting for funding for their homes or properties.

"I can say that I share the frustration that things are taking this long,” Rose said. “But when I go to our executive staff and ask what in the world? They are being put on hold by the federal government."

The choice to opt for a federal reimbursement vs. going through flood insurance was elective, according to Rose. Each homeowner had the choice – and the choice to go the federal route likely gives them a full reimbursement versus a partial one.

Once the homeowner or property owner receives the reimbursement, the site must be demolished and taken back to a “natural state.”

The Title Max building is in an odd location – while it sits surrounded by City of Columbia jurisdiction, it’s technically what Rose calls “in a donut hole,” and belongs to Richland County.

That means Richland County will assume the deed of that land once the property is demolished.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly