The Columbia Canal One Year After The Flood

Columbia canal one year later.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Last year the 60 foot breach in the Columbia Canal caused more than 375,000 people in Columbia to be without water for nearly two weeks.

Since then, the city has been working to make repairs, but there's still a lot to be done.
"This canal break, along with ruptures throughout the system lead to a 10-day boil water advisory,” says Mayor Steve Benjamin.
For weeks, the National Guard dropped sandbags near the canal’s breach to help stop the flow.

Now it looks different. Vegetation covers the floor and a rock wall separates the damaged area from the rest of the canal, but that breach remains.

Mayor Benjamin says it will take a while before repairs are completed.

“We want quick responses, but I tell you, working with the Federal Government is always difficult. They have been responsive, but nothing is fast."

The city of Columbia saw $75 million worth of damage to infrastructure as a result of the flood. $50 million of that came from the canal breach.

"Now our focus is intently on repairing those things that were damaged, but more importantly focusing on how we can become a more resilient city,” says Mayor Benjamin.

Along with Columbia’s infrastructure, 400 homes and 60 businesses were damaged.

Just like the plants along the canal's bed, the city and its citizens have grown and are looking towards the future.

"The rebuilding process is going to be long and tough for some folk. I hope and pray that people find comfort that they are not doing it alone."
 


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