CHARLESTON, S.C. – Heavy rains may have subsided in the Lowcountry - an area along the state coast - as of Oct. 6, but South Carolina National Guard relief and recovery efforts are still underway as water levels continue to rise in local rivers.
Soldiers with the South Carolina National Guard are working with local law enforcement and civilian authorities conducting health and welfare checks of community members, supporting evacuation efforts, providing transportation to first responders through high-water areas, as well as continuing to deliver sand bags throughout the area to protect from flood waters.
“We continue to be proactive, seeing how we can assist the local [Emergency Operation Centers],” said U.S. Army Capt. Hezzie Green, 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Headquarters and Headquarters Company intelligence officer. “We’re communicating with the EOCs and sheriff’s departments to see what assistance we can provide the communities.”
Currently, the SCNG tactical operations center for the area is monitoring the levels of three rivers – Black, Edisto and Waccamaw – and working in support of civilian responders to assist in evacuating people in those areas, added Green.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Edward Cloyd, 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment commander, explained that Soldiers who worked in Kingstree, S.C., partnered with local law enforcement, traveling door-to-door asking citizens if they needed help evacuating. For those who requested assistance, troops transported them to shelters in the local community out of harm’s way.
“Our biggest concern is always the local population,” added Green.
Additional missions have included search and rescue in support of fire departments and other local authorities, providing drinkable water to communities with contaminated water, and assisting in local damage assessments.
Units working in the Lowcountry and surrounding area have included the 218th Brigade Support Battalion; 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment; 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 178th Field Artillery Regiment; 133rd Military Police Company; 1050th Transportation Battalion; and the 1223rd Engineer Company.