Feds step in with $157 million to help S.C. flood recovery

Dave Samios, resident on Mayfield Street, makes a trip to his truck on Oct. 8 in Summerville.

COLUMBIA — South Carolina will be receiving $157 million in federal cash to help communities devastated by October’s floods.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Monday the money will go to cover the remaining unmet needs of state and local governments, which include housing, economic development and infrastructure.

“After disaster strikes, the most important task is getting folks back to a safe home quickly so they can return to their daily lives,” said Secretary Julián Castro. “With climate change increasing the frequency and intensity of disasters, we must take every opportunity to plan better and ensure faster recovery for communities across the nation. With this $157 million disaster recovery investment, we uphold our commitment to helping these communities recover stronger and be better prepared for future disasters.”

The money is being divided between Lexington and Richland counties, the city of Columbia and the state. South Carolina’s leaders would distribute the cash as needed to other municipalities that were also impacted by the flood, such as Sumter and Charleston. More than a dozen counties were declared a disaster, after record-breaking rainfall drenched many areas of the state.

Though FEMA kicked in with financial help for many of those who were displaced, the money has left many far from whole. The state House of Representatives has also been searching for ways to help the state’s farmers, whose crops were destroyed during the historic event.

On Thursday, the House passed a bill that provides eligible farmers up to $100,000 to cover production expenses and losses as a result of the disaster. The bill was fast-tracked through the chamber, despite Gov. Nikki Haley’s opposition to the measure.

Reach Cynthia Roldan at 843-708-5891.