Tag Archives: Tropical Storm Irma

DHEC in the News: Flu, America Recycles Day, more sand for beach

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

First Flu-Related Death Confirmed In South Carolina, How To Protect Yourself

Columbia, SC (WOLO) – The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed the first flu-related death of the season.  The individual that passed away because of the flu was in the upstate, but DHEC says people can never be too cautious when it comes to the nasty virus. They said young children, pregnant women, people 65 years or older and those with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease are the ones most at risk.

Solid Waste Authority hosts America Recycles Day

In celebration of America Recycles Day, the Solid Waste Authority, in conjunction with SC DHEC and the SC Commerce Department hosted an America Recycles Day/Don’t Waste Food Day. The outreach event is being held to help educate Horry County about food waste and how to reduce their waste personally.

Most people do not realize that food waste is the number one item thrown away across America. The amount of food wasted in a year is a staggering 38.4 million tons, it accounts for over 20% of our country’s waste. South Carolina, itself produced over 600,000 tons of food waste last year.

Looking for a better beach? This popular one has been approved for some TLC

More sand will be coming to Hilton Head Plantation after taking “a major hit” from Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Irma, according to the November newsletter for the plantation.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the plantation’s application to place additional sand on Pine Island Beach, and to install a boardwalk from the Dolphin Head Recreation area to the Pine Island Ithmus, the newsletter said.

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: Tire recycling, Hilton Head beaches, new treatment for heart failure

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

Homeland Park residents cheer closing of tire recycling business

Homeland Park resident Steve Allen’s wife suffers from respiratory problems. But he said she can breathe better now that the tire recycling business near their home has closed.

Dave Homesley, who also lives close to the now-defunct Viva Recycling on Abbeville Highway, says the dust, fumes and noise created by business were a “catastrophe.”

“It has been very, very, very traumatic,” Homesley said.

Viva Recycling’s facilities in Anderson County and Monck’s Corner north of Charleston both shut down a few months ago. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control revoked the operating permits for both sites in September.

3 weeks after Irma, are Hilton Head waters safe to swim in yet?

Three weeks after Tropical Storm Irma, there’s some good news for Hilton Head Island residents and visitors.

The beaches are safe to swim in, according to water quality test results from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The department collected beach monitoring samples in the Hilton Head on Sept. 20 and the results were “satisfactory,” according to a DHEC spokesperson.

General Interest

New treatment for heart failure sought in research led by Clemson University

CLEMSON — Heart-attack damage could be repaired with stem cells and tiny “nanowires” as part of a new research project that involves all three of South Carolina’s major research universities and is backed by $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Ying Mei, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Clemson University, is leading the project.

DHEC in the News: Eastern Equine Encephalitis, City of Beaufort flooding problems, EMT and paramedic shortage

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

DHEC confirms case of Triple E Virus in Conway area

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Aerial mosquito spraying took place Thursday night in a neighborhood in the Conway area after it was a confirmed that a horse died a few weeks ago from the Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus, according to Horry County officials.

Kelly Brosky, interim spokesperson for Horry County, said it is the only confirmed case of the Triple E Virus locally so far this year.

City of Beaufort to fix flooding problems with new task force

BEAUFORT, SC. (WSAV) – Tropical Storm Irma brought flooding to homes across the City of Beaufort, many families had just moved back in after recovering from Matthew’s flooding 11 months earlier.

“We’ve had people who’ve lost their houses twice in one year, that’s wrong,” said Mayor Billy Keyserling.

That’s why the state, county and, city are taking action. South Carolina State Representative Shannon Erickson put together a task force at the beginning of September to survey the issues and find a permanent solution.

South Carolina faces EMT and paramedic shortage, HGTC program answers to needs

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A statewide meeting was held Wednesday to discuss the shortage of EMT and paramedic-trained professionals in South Carolina.

Officials within the health field and the Department of Health and Environmental Control are working on ways to solve the problem.

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.