COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Gov. Nikki Haley urged South Carolinians to stay off roads and waterways as rain moved across the state Saturday.
Haley said the death toll has risen to 19 people, despite some 850 rescues of people and pets by SCDNR officials.
SCDOT has 35 assessment teams in 23 counties, checking on roads and bridges. Haley said there are 336 closures, of which 105 are bridges.
The closure of I-95 has been extended in both length and time, with the section of highway from mile marker 119 to 135 blocked off to motorists indefinitely.
Anyone with immediate need because of the devastation can now call 211, she said. The United Way is partnering with multiple agencies to help coordinate assistance.
The governor repeated her plea for people who have been affected in any by flooding damage, either to their homes or small businesses, to register with FEMA for federal aid as soon as possible. As of this morning, 31,038 people have registered for assistance.
The growing list of counties that have been added to the list qualifying for aid now includes:
Haley has said the list will be "a story of addition" as FEMA teams continue to examine property statewide.
People can call (800) 621-FEMA or visit disasterassistance.gov to register.
South Carolina's health agency is offering free tetanus shots to anyone who risks or may have already suffered a wound contaminated by floodwater.
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control says mobile clinics will be held Saturday at A.C. Flora High School and at Pine Glen Subdivision in Columbia. More opportunities to receive the single vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis will be Sunday at the Garners Ferry Adult Activity Center in Hopkins and the Irmo Branch Library in Columbia.
DHEC will also offer free vaccinations against the disease commonly called "lockjaw" at health departments beginning Monday.
The shots are recommended as a precaution for people who've gone for 10 years or more since their last tetanus vaccination or they've suffered an injury more than five years since their last shot.
Tetanus is an infection caused by a bacteria that produces a poison that causes painful muscle contractions if it's allowed to invade the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says tetanus often causes a person's neck and jaw muscles to lock, making it hard to open the mouth or swallow.
DHEC is also offering free testing for well water to ensure it is safe to drink. DHEC is testing around 2,000 water samples a day.
Haley quoted a text she received from a friend that stated we experience tragedy and heartache so we can come to know our own souls.
"These challenges are revealing the true heart and soul of South Carolina," she said. "This is South Carolina showing what hear heart and soul looks like through her people."
South Carolinians are also gaining help from their neighbors, as personnel and volunteers from eight states have joined in the recovery process.
She praised Walmart for donating $500,000 to various agencies assisting in relief efforts.
Harvest Hope Food Bank has given out 500,703 meals to flood victims, and the Salvation Army has given out 21,000 meals. Over 4,100 National Guardsmen are currently deployed across the state aiding in recovery.
She also said additional drawings from children like one she displayed Friday, meant to encourage South Carolinians, have been coming in as people reach out to the Palmetto State.