Obama signs SC federal disaster declaration

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - The White House has approved South Carolina's request for federal disaster relief after last month's storm that caused more than $430 million in damage.
The White House announced Wednesday that President Obama signed the declaration. Gov. Nikki Haley made the request for 21 of the state's 46 counties last week.
The declaration means federal funding is available to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged between Feb. 10 and Feb. 14.
The storm left up to an inch of ice that snapped trees and branches across a wide swath of the state and dumped up to 8 inches of snow in the Upstate.

In her letter to President Barack Obama, Haley reported that snowfall totals ranged from less than an inch in southern counties to as many as ten inches in the Upstate. Ice accumulation totals ranged from .1 to 1.25 inches, with ice coating "critical infrastructure" and causing "widespread vegetative debris issues."

Power outages affected 348,000 customers, the letter stated, adding that some were without power for more than a week.

Haley said all 46 county governments experienced delays or closures for up to four days. Other storm related expenses listed in the request included 4,941 calls for service answered by the state Highway Patrol and security missions for power crews supported by the SCDNR, SLED and other agencies.

The state's Department of Transportation had 1,350 maintenance employees involved in road operations that included spreading more than 17,000 tons of salt and 7,100 tons of sand. SCDOT sprayed 73,651 gallons of calcium chloride and 1.4 million gallons of salt brine throughout the state.

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