Category Archives: Emergency Preparedness

DHEC in the News: Lake Busbee, West Nile, Hurricane Hugo

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

 Santee Cooper says it won’t maintain Lake Busbee much longer, even with its uncertain fate

Conway, S.C. (WPDE) — People in Conway, and across the area, are concerned about the future of Lake Busbee.

Some Conway residents said during a meeting on Monday that Santee Cooper needs to do something about the hazards recently reported by the South Carolina Department of Environmental and Control (DHEC).

But, Santee Cooper spokesperson Susan Mungo says the company never agreed to address those issues if someone like the City of Conway was to take control of the man-made lake.

11 cases of West Nile in SC, 1 death in Upstate, DHEC says

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed eleven human cases of West Nile virus in South Carolina so far this year.

One of the eleven, an individual in Anderson County, died last month. The other human cases were in Beaufort, Greenville, Horry, Richland, Union, and York counties.

General Interest

Lessons learned from Hurricane Hugo 28 years ago still help with today’s storm preparations

As Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in the Caribbean earlier this month, Keri Wilson kept a close eye on her Folly Beach neighbors.

“When it comes to hurricanes, I don’t mess around,” she said. “I lived through Hugo, but most of my neighbors weren’t here then and some of them weren’t even born yet.”

Thursday marks the 28th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, which slammed into the South Carolina coast as a Category 4 hurricane overnight on Sept. 21, 1989.

DHEC in the News: West Nile, prescription drug arrest, Irma impact

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Second West Nile virus case confirmed in Rock Hill resident

A second case of West Nile virus has been confirmed in a Rock Hill resident, according to York County Emergency Management. …

To prevent mosquito exposure, the health department recommends residents …

Myrtle Beach dental assistant charged with obtaining prescription drugs illegally while on the job

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A dental assistant was arrested Monday for allegedly obtaining prescription sedatives unlawfully while on the job.

According to online records from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, Kathleen Capra, 48, was charged with theft of controlled substances.

General Interest

Irma spurs resurgence in allergy season, mosquito breeding

SOUTH CAROLINA (WSAV) – It’s been just over a week since Irma hit the Lowcountry, but many are left dealing with health concerns and irritants from the storm.

Dr. Jaime Lagos says Irma has left a trifecta of troubles for some allergy sufferers.

“The weed pollen has been stirred up to very large levels, and therefore they’re getting a lot more weed pollen,” Dr. Lagos says, “And on top of that, we have a lot more moisture which is causing the mold spores to reproduce at much higher levels.”

Add that to elm pollen, and it can make any post-storm cleanup unbearable.

Mosquitoes are another irritant causing issues after the storm.

DHEC in the News: Charleston flooding, Tropical Storm Irma damage, removable seawalls, West Nile

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Downtown Charleston is flooding more, with or without hurricanes. Here’s why

CHARLESTON David and Claudia Cohen were busy raking debris from their yard and reflecting on Charleston’s third big flood in three years when a car whizzed down Gibbes Street near the Holy City’s historic Battery.

Driving the auto was a neighbor, who slowed just enough to yell sarcastically about Charleston’s watery troubles.

“I’m getting a couple of cyanide pills,’’ the neighbor wisecracked through the rolled-down window. …

Rising sea levels and major storms are swamping streets, neighborhoods and popular tourist attractions with a frequency and intensity that is hard for many people to ignore. The flooding is affecting millions of dollars worth of property in South Carolina’s oldest city, one of the state’s top vacation destinations.

How Tropical Storm Irma damaged South Carolina’s coastal communities

Even though the South Carolina coast was 200 miles or more from the eye of Tropical Storm Irma, the state’s beaches and barrier islands did not escape her wrath.

All of them saw some degree of damage from high winds and rising water. In some cases, beach sand was carried several blocks inland.

Most communities were still assessing their situations at the end of the week, a process that officials said could take months.

Studies at odds on removable seawalls as storm waves slam South Carolina beachfront homes

The surf from Tropical Storm Irma swamped past the pillars meant to prop up the experimental removable seawalls that advocates hoped would protect resort homes in the Wild Dunes and Harbor Island communities.

Whether the removed walls would have made a difference, however, remains in dispute as property owners, conservationists and the state wait on the courts to decide their future.

Meanwhile, the research done so far on their effectiveness is inconclusive.

Mayor Rhodes: “We have just one isolated case of West Nile. And we’re on top of it.”

Myrtle Beach, S.C. — In a Friday evening video message posted to the Myrtle Beach City Government’s Facebook page, Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes told residents there is a case of West Nile Virus in Myrtle Beach.

City officials said the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed the virus Friday.

DHEC in the News: Mosquitoes after Irma, Florida nursing home tragedy, swim warnings in parts of Congaree and Saluda rivers

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Beaufort Co agencies monitor mosquito population after Irma

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) — Beaufort County Mosquito Control (BCMC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will continue to conduct surveillance for mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases following Tropical Storm Irma.

BCMC anticipates an escalating and significant increase in the biting mosquito populations throughout the Lowcountry.

Florida tragedy highlights challenge for families seeking senior care

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Medicare records show a “below-average” rating for a Florida nursing home where an air conditioning outage led to the deaths of eight elderly clients.

The deaths are linked to heat conditions that developed at the Rehabilitation Center in Hollywood, Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Hollywood police have launched a criminal investigation into the home’s operations.

A city spokeswoman says fire crews had been called to the facility 127 times over a one year period.

Warnings raised against swimming in Congaree, Saluda

COLUMBIA, SC People are being warning against swimming on parts of the Congaree and lower Saluda rivers after laboratory tests found elevated bacteria counts in the water.

Five spots on the rivers between Saluda Shoals Park and the Rosewood Drive boat landing were found to have bacteria levels above the safe swimming standard, according to a coalition of environmental groups and governments that are jointly checking water quality.

DHEC in the News: Tropical Storm Irma, head lice policy, inspection of Darlington ponds, sea turtles

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Report coastal damage to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) — A South Carolina state agency is asking its state residents to contact them for storm damage.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is encouraging residents and officials to report Tropical Storm Irma damage to the agency and local building officials.

School Board approves policy changes on first reading

The Aiken County School Board approved several policy changes on first reading at its regular meeting Tuesday, including the Aiken County Public School District’s policies on head lice, staff conduct and professional development.

The policy change concerning head lice would remove the requirement that students be free of nits, or lice eggs, before returning to school.

DHEC does follow up inspection of Darlington ponds polluted with sewage

Darlington, S.C. (WPDE) — The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has conducted a follow-up site visit of two ponds on Race Track Road in Darlington where 700 gallons of sewage spilled into the pond about two weeks ago, according to DHEC Public Information Officer Adrianna Bradley.

Bradley said DHEC was investigating if septic waste from porta potties were dumped into the ponds.

General Interest

Irma erosion likely destroyed one-third of South Carolina sea turtle nests

Those sea turtles are very likely among the last to hatch this year.

That was Sept. 7. Three days later, surf from Tropical Storm Irma slammed the state’s beaches, washing away most of the remaining nests and killing the eggs.