Responders preparing for worst case scenarios if SC receives extensive flooding

Published: Oct. 2, 2015 at 9:49 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2015 at 9:49 PM EDT
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WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Emergency responders say a swift water rescue is something that their technicians are carefully trained on-- but responding to urban flooding brings added complications.

The West Columbia Fire Department normally has 8-10 technicians on its Swift Water Rescue Team.

But, for the possibility of a significant flooding, like what we could see over the weekend, officials are preparing on a bigger scale.

The West Columbia Fire Department is partnering with the Columbia Fire Department, the City of Cayce, and Lexington County Fire Services to prep for the possibility of flooding over the next 48-72 hours.

They've been continually meeting at the Emergency Operations Center in Lexington to make preparations for how to deploy resources.

"The potential for an incident of such large magnitude obviously stretches resources," ‎said Marquis Solomon, chief of operations at the West Columbia Fire Department. "So what it requires for us is to kind of piggy back off one another as far as the use of specialized resources like swift water assets."

Both West Columbia and the City of Columbia have resources to deploy boats and swimmers in the event of a water rescue.

With all municipalities combined, there will be 20-25 water rescue technicians on staff at all times.

The biggest piece of advice firefighters have is to stay away from standing or flowing water. Officials say especially in an urban setting, a water rescue is especially difficult.

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