March 19, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Preliminary damage assessment teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will arrive in South Carolina Thursday at noon to survey the damage caused by tornadoes and severe weather this past Saturday.
These preliminary damage assessment teams are made up of personnel from FEMA, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, affected county management leadership, and Red Cross and Small Business personnel. The teams’ work begins with surveying the types of damage and costs caused by Saturday’s storms, including the number of people displaced.
SCEMD’s operational condition has been increased to level 4. Operational Condition Level 4 means that the South Carolina Emergency Management Division is at a higher level of readiness, and staff members are notified that there may be a potential for them to be called in on short notice.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 85 homes have been reported totally destroyed statewide, 88 homes suffered major damage and 383 homes suffered minor damage. In addition, SCEMD has determined 8 businesses within the state have been totally destroyed, 18 businesses have suffered major damage and 33 have suffered minor damage.
Twenty-four counties in South Carolina reported at least some type of severe weather Saturday, including multiple touchdowns from 17 tornadoes confirmed by the National Weather Service.