Unprecedented rains have slammed the Lowcountry and most of South Carolina, wreaking havoc on thousands of helpless residents. At least nine people are confirmed dead, as raging floodwaters have submerged vehicles, wiped out roadways, cut electricity and prompted dozens of swift-water rescues.
The devastation has been so severe that SC Governor Nikki Haley has labeled the torrential downpours a “thousand year event.” Haley says that additional evacuations are probable as floodwaters continue to rise in certain areas.
In short, South Carolinians are not out of the woods yet and are urged to stay cautious and off the roads as rescue workers continue to assess the damage. Transportation Secretary Christy Hall has confirmed the closing of at least 550 highways and roads in the state, in addition to 100 bridges and streets in the Columbia region. This Saturday, President Obama signed a federal disaster declaration in response to Gov. Haley’s relief request.
Insurance industry braces for onslaught of SC flood damage claims
Given the large scale of property damage and destruction from the rains and downed trees, many South Carolinians will be turning to their homeowner’s and flood insurance to cover repairs and replacements. After all, it only takes a couple inches of floodwater to seriously damage a home and its contents.
The local insurance industry is bracing for an onslaught of flood damage claims in SC and has even brought in outside adjusters.
Unfortunately, many residents should prepare themselves for insurance claim denial – based on one technicality or another. But before giving up a fight with an insurance adjuster, remember that the law is on your side if your insurance policy has ambiguous language. If the flood or homeowner’s policy is drafted by the insurance carrier and contains text that is unclear, an experienced lawyer can likely resolve the claim in your favor.
Massive floods cripple SC
More than 1,300 National Guard troops have responded to the extensive flooding, helping state troopers and other emergency crews in at least 11 counties. In some cases, residents were rescued from near drowning by helicopter.
“I’ll put it this way: For us, this is a biblical event,” Brian Hinton, deputy of the Charleston Volunteer Rescue Squad, told the NY Times. “This is a historical-type deal.”
One of the most dangerous areas was just south of Columbia, where more than 20 inches of rain fell over the weekend. On Sunday, the Columbia Police Department logged some 200 rescue calls from residents attempting to escape the rising waters. The deluge has generated widespread flooding, keeping authorities in emergency response mode.
North of Columbia is faring somewhat better, with the worst of the rains nearly over. Officials in this region have shifted into recovery mode, evaluating infrastructure damage.
The horrific weather is the culmination of a low-pressure system and residual moisture from Hurricane Joaquin, the results of which may continue and potentially worsen this week.
South Carolina flood insurance claim denial
The Jeffcoat Firm is available to review your insurance claim and policy language to ensure fair reimbursement is made in the wake of weather-related damage. To schedule a free consultation today, please call (803) 200-2000