The floodwaters washed away 530 feet of U.S. 301 outside Dillon. This shows repair crews on the scene Tuesday. SCDOT/Provided

COLUMBIA — The catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Florence has caused an estimated $75 million worth of damage to South Carolina's roadways. 

That's according to initial estimates from the state Department of Transportation. Assessments continue as the waters recede, said DOT Secretary Christy Hall. 

Federal disaster money should eventually cover most of that. The Federal Highway Administration approved $8 million last week in "quick release" emergency money to jumpstart repairs. 

Work crews are "literally chasing the floodwaters out of the region as they start to recede," Hall said.

Here's the latest by-the-numbers look at Florence's aftermath:


There were 124 road and bridge closures on state-maintained roads as of Friday afternoon, according to the DOT. That's down from more than 230 closures Sept. 17, as the floodwaters from Hurricane Florence began overwhelming the Pee Dee region.

The DOT's top priority for repairs was U.S. 301 outside Dillon, where 530 feet washed away. 

Four miles of S.C. 22, also known as the Conway Bypass, reopened Thursday afternoon in both directions after the waters receded between S.C. 905 and S.C. 90. DOT officials had feared a washout there too, but inspectors found the road in good condition. 

S.C. 9, a main route through the Pee Dee region to North Myrtle Beach, remained closed for about 5 miles in Horry County. 

U.S. 76 was still closed by flooding through Nichols, a tiny town in Marion County submerged again, two years after Hurricane Matthew. 

On Monday, the DOT will begin removing the flood barriers installed along U.S. 501 in Conway, where the floodwaters continue to recede. The 1.5-mile barrier, consisting of thousands of one-tag sandbags, kept that route to Myrtle Beach open. The agency encourages drivers to avoid that area during that removal work, which will continue 24 hours a day until it's done. The highway will be open, but traffic will flow in only one lane in each direction. Drivers should expect delays if they opt to take that route instead of S.C. 22. 

The agency has an online, real-time map of flooding-related closures.


Floodwaters began hitting Georgetown on Friday, where the Great Pee Dee and Waccamaw rivers intersect and flow to the Atlantic Ocean at Winyah Bay. It was unclear Friday evening when the rivers would crest. Regardless, it could take weeks for them to recede, according to the state Emergency Management Division.  

Forecasters initially expected 5 to 10 feet of flooding in Georgetown. Those predictions have been lowered at least twice, but the flooding is still expected to be worse than with Hurricane Matthew in 2016. 

Rivers that flow through the Pee Dee region remained above flood stage Friday evening in at least three other locations monitored by the National Weather Service

The Waccamaw River in Conway was slowly receding after cresting Wednesday at more than 10 feet above flood stage, several feet above the record set after Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Water levels have dropped by less than a foot since. They're expected to stay above that previous record of 17.9 feet through next Tuesday. 

Horry County Emergency Management says flooding continues to pose a serious threat, but the situation in that county is stabilizing.

The Little Pee Dee near Galivants Ferry had receded to moderate flooding, though still nearly 3 feet above flood stage. But it's receded by several feet after cresting last Friday just above the previous record. 

The Great Pee Dee River near Pee Dee in Marion County was considered in minor flooding, also nearly 3 feet above flood stage. It too has steadily receded since cresting last Friday at almost 32 feet, which was near a record high. 


Six emergency shelters for the general population remained open Friday evening, including two pet-friendly shelters in Georgetown County. Three shelters are in Horry County, and the other is in Marion, according to the Emergency Management Division.  

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Follow Seanna Adcox on Twitter at @seannaadcox_pc.

Assistant Columbia bureau chief

Adcox returned to The Post and Courier in October 2017 after 12 years covering the Statehouse for The Associated Press. She previously covered education for The P&C. She has also worked for The AP in Albany, N.Y., and for The Herald in Rock Hill.

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