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The Latest: Open disaster centers to help with rent, repairs - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

The Latest: Open disaster centers to help with rent, repairs

Photo Source: Janet Bragg Photo Source: Janet Bragg

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The latest on the rainstorm that pounded parts of the East Coast (all times local):

4 p.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Two disaster recovery centers are open in the Columbia area to help South Carolina flood survivors who need money to pay rent and make essential home repairs.

State officials said Saturday that the centers will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

State and federal emergency management specialists, the Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the centers to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.

The two disaster recovery centers are at the Richland Library Southeast in Columbia and Richland Library Eastover in Eastover.

1 p.m.

South Carolina law officers say they're making arrests to stave off opportunistic criminals taking advantage of the suffering left by the state's flooding emergency.

Police in Sumter say they're looking for a 48-year-old Lexington man who promised to do $2,000 worth of repair work, cashed an upfront check and disappeared.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department says deputies have arrested and charged two people with looting after stealing a car battery. Sheriff Leon Lott says looters who are caught will be charged with a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Lott says a curfew remains in effect for the entire Columbia area between midnight and 6 a.m. Sunday.

11:45 a.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The United Way of South Carolina is organizing volunteers willing to pitch in and help flooding victims clean debris and ruined possessions from their flooded homes.

The United Way said Saturday people can help with the long, hard work of recovery by helping homeowners separate the refuse into household garbage, construction debris and other piles. Volunteers can register at getconnected.uwasc.org/drm .

Volunteers also can help by pulling together supplies for survivors to include a 5-gallon bucket, sponges and scrub brushes, heavy duty gloves, a retractable utility knife, mold control spray and bleach and disinfectant. Call the South Carolina Baptist Convention Relief Center at (803) 227-6031 to find where to drop off the flood buckets.

The group has also developed a training video with basic procedures for safely cleaning debris at its web site: http://www.scbaptist.org.

The South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church is delivering health and school supply kits.

11:20 a.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - 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.

10:30 a.m.

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (AP) - Officials in Georgetown say the Black River crested overnight and water levels have dropped 5 inches.

Georgetown County spokeswoman Jackie Broach said Saturday the worst flooding appears to be over for some parts of the county.

Record rainfall dumped as much as 20 inches of rain in Columbia. That rain has swollen rivers past their banks as the water flowed to the coast, threatening coastal cities with more flooding.

The Waccamaw River crested Friday and began to recede. The Black River soon followed. Both rivers empty into Winyah Bay and the Atlantic ocean at Georgetown. The National Guard went from house to house on Friday urging people to evacuate, but many chose to stay.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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