Tag Archives: charleston

DHEC in the News: Opioids, abandoned tires, flood-prone homes

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

Fighting Opioid overdoses on the front lines

Nearly 100 people a day are dying from opioid overdoses, it’s part of a growing issue that South Carolina is not immune to.

In the past 3 years, opioid related deaths have risen 18%. That crisis is causing police officers to equip departments with a overdose reversal drug known as Narcan.

South Carolina Health Officials Propose Fines Over Old Tires

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Health officials in South Carolina are proposing fines for a recycling company because of abandoned tires that serve as a mosquito breeding ground.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control has proposed more than $1 million in civil penalties against the 21-acre (8.5-hectare) Viva Recycling operation in Berkeley County, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

Health officials say the company has more than 200,000 abandoned tires in Berkeley County. DHEC says the company has not paid the $1.65 million in fines yet.

General Interest

‘A huge shift in our mindset’ – Charleston looks at how best to treat flood-prone homes

In a move that one Charleston preservation leader called “a sea change,” the city will be more receptive than ever to property owners’ requests to elevate their homes or other buildings, even along its most historic streets.

The city held a day-long workshop Friday to discuss design solutions that would allow historic buildings to be elevated while minimizing disruption to the city’s ambiance, one that has given the city a national reputation and fueled its multimillion-dollar tourist economy.

The workshop came several weeks after Tropical Storm Irma flooded dozens of historic homes downtown, many for the third time in as many years.

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: Healthy Greenville grant winners, land conservation, West Nile virus

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

Healthy Greenville grant winners chosen

Greenville County EMS, Clemson University’s public health department and Gateway House are among the winners of the first Healthy Greenville 2036 grants.

Announced Tuesday by the Greenville Health Authority board of trustees, the nine winning grants total $12.4 million and provide funding for one to five years.

Charleston Harbor deepening funds finance 600-acre conservation deal

A conservation group has purchased about 600 acres near the east branch of the Cooper River through a preservation program tied to the Charleston Harbor deepening project.

The Lowcountry Land Trust bought Hyde Park Plantation for $3.525 million from Hyde Park Estates Inc., which had owned it since 1993.

The property is near the Francis Marion National Forest off S.C. Highway 402, between Huger and Cordesville in Berkeley County. It includes more than 100 acres of rice fields and almost 500 acres of woodlands, as well as a main residence, servant’s quarters and a guest house.

County battling West Nile Virus

UNION COUNTY — The people of Union County are being urged to take steps to protect themselves from the West Nile Virus after a Jonesville area resident was diagnosed with the disease.

According to the DHEC website (www.scdhec.gov/westnile/) West Nile Virus “is a disease transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on infected birds.”

DHEC in the News: Mount Pleasant Water, Prescription Fraud, Rising Seas

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

A cancer cluster caused by pesticides in South Carolina would be hard to prove. Here’s why.

Cancer clusters are rare and difficult to prove, and pesticides are unlikely to be the cause of several recent cases of brain tumors in Mount Pleasant, a national water quality expert said.

Erik Olson, director of the National Resources Defense Council’s health program, said the system Mount Pleasant Waterworks uses — reverse osmosis — is an excellent technology that will “remove basically anything, including pesticides.”

“If they’ve had reverse osmosis for a long time, that would suggest it’s probably not pesticides,” Olson said.

Mount Pleasant has used the technology since 1991.

Warrants: Former Wellford police chief charged in prescription fraud

WELLFORD, SC (FOX Carolina) – The former police chief of Wellford is facing 10 charges connected to the filling of unauthorized prescriptions.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed 48-year-old Timothy Alexander was arrested on five counts of MDP other in Schedule I, II or III controlled substance and five counts of violation of drug distribution laws.

According to the arrest warrants, Alexander is accused of conspiring with a woman to obtain unauthorized Percocet prescriptions from pharmacies in Woodruff and Spartanburg.

General Interest

New study pinpoints sea rise hot spots, with Edisto and Kiawah islands caught in the crosshairs

In just 18 years — less than the life of some mortgages — rising seas will cause disruptive flooding in about 170 coastal communities across the United States, including Edisto and Kiawah islands, a new analysis says.

Prepared by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, the report is said to be the first nationwide attempt to identify tipping points — times and places where flooding is so frequent that residents abandon their land or pump big bucks into projects to hold back the ocean.

No stranger to high water, Charleston already sees regular “nuisance floods” at seasonal high tides, though the problem has grown worse in recent years. Charleston averaged four days of tidal flooding 50 years ago. Last year, the city had a record 50 flooding days, many when the sun shined.

Even so, the city has yet to reach a “chronic inundation” threshold — when 10 percent or more of its usable, non-wetland area floods at least 26 times per year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists report.

That will change within a couple of generations.

DHEC in the News: Opiods, bats, rising sea level

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

Midlands Deputies Use Narcan to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Kershaw County, SC (WLTX) – The opioid epidemic is becoming a major problem in our state and now one county’s deputies have a new tool that could save lives.

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies are being trained how to use Narcan, a life-saving opiate overdose antidote. …

“Police officers get to the area a lot earlier,” DHEC EMS Director Arnold Alier said of the importance of law enforcement officers having Narcan.

DHEC warns Myrtle Beach condo residents about rabies after multiple bat sighting

Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WPDE) — A letter was recently sent to residents at Magnolia North Condos, in Myrtle Beach, after multiple bat sightings were reported, including one incident where a bat was inside a condo.

The letter from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says that on June 20th there was a report of a bat inside a condo and additional bat sightings have been reported over the past eight months around the complex.

General Interest

New warnings on sea rise

Downtown Charleston flooded on roughly one out of every seven days last year. That’s more than just a record-breaking number of tidal inundations, it’s an alarming warning of a much wetter future for the city.

It’s a call to action.

Maybe the 50 flooded days Charleston endured in 2016 represent an outlier. After all, the previous record, set in 2015, was 38 days. It was 11 in 2014.