Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Even though the storm that brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain, is long gone, the work is still going on by local and state officials to have South Carolina declared a federal disaster area.
"The ice may have melted but work is still going on in South Carolina," said Derrec Becker.
Becker is the public information officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.
According to Becker, "We've asked for a team from FEMA to come in and to look at just how badly we were impacted by this ice storm, it was very significant."
The winter storm may be a distant memory for many of us, but officials are still in the middle of the difficult process of figuring out the damage totals from across the state.
"It is a bit like having your taxes audited," said Becker.
"FEMA teams are looking at all of the paperwork in each county, they are assessing all of the costs that were associated with the storm, the emergency costs associated with the storm, looking at all of the debris and there is a lot of debris in over twenty counties," according to Becker.
The debris from the February 11th - 13th storm is estimated to over be one million cubic yards, to put that in prospective, that is about 30 feet of debris on top of ten football fields.
Becker said, "That all has to be sorted processed, weighed and the cost estimated for what it is going to take to dispose all of it."
Even though FEMA is in the process of potentially declaring a major disaster for much of South Carolina, Becker says individuals with damage should look locally for help since this storm did not meet the FEMA threshold for relief for homeowners.
"The hallmark, just for you to know for FEMA to come in and offer those programs, 100 uninsured homes have to be totally destroyed, insurance will always be the first step in disaster response for the people at home," said Becker.
This would be the first federal disaster declaration for South Carolina in almost a decade.
The last declaration occurred in January 2006 for an ice storm that occurred in the Upstate in December 2005.
For information the South Carolina Emergency Management Division or the process of declaring an area a disaster area visit their site at www.scemd.org