MONCKS CORNER — In the wake of the July Fourth storm, town residents who need DMV services now have access to the state's mobile office vehicle.
The S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles announced Tuesday its Community Area Response and Emergency Services vehicle — used to help DMV offices impacted by natural disasters — is open for business while repairs are made to the building at 445 U.S. Highway 52.
"The CARES vehicle will allow those customers to experience as minimal of a disruption as possible when completing their normal business with the SCDMV,” Kevin Shwedo, executive director of the SCDMV, said.
Straight-line winds that mirrored those of a tornado damaged the building's roof and computer equipment on the Fourth of July.
Because the office was closed for the holiday, no employees or customers were inside.
While computer equipment was damaged, no customer information was compromised. All of the inventory kept in the Moncks Corner building has been removed, the state office said.
The mobile office has five counters that can perform almost all of the functions a normal DMV office can. While the Highway 52 building has 10 counters, department spokesperson Hayley Belton said the operation hopefully won't be slowed too much.
"While there are fewer counters at the CARES vehicle than the brick-and-mortar Moncks Corner branch, being able to offer five counters to the community versus zero is another way to show the public that we recognize how an office closure may impact their normal day to day business with the agency," Belton said.
The location will operate with normal hours for the foreseeable future — 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except for Wednesdays, when it opens at 9:30 a.m. to allow for employee training).
The nearest DMV branches to Moncks Corner are in Ladson and St. George.
In addition to damaging the town DMV building, the holiday storm ripped the roof off of a strip mall and toppled a church steeple, as severe weather brushed across the state.
The day after the storm, Charleston International Airport received 2.88 inches of rain, breaking the daily July 5 record of 1.6 inches set in 1982, according to the National Weather Service.