Gills Creek Watershed Millennial Flood 2015

Gills Creek Watershed Flood 2015

Gills Creek Watershed Association Updates

Gills Creek Watershed Management After The 2015 Flood

Published June 26, 2016

Gills Creek Flood 2015 Response Editorial

Published November 9, 2015

Gills Creek Flood 2015 - Disaster Resources

Published October 20, 2015

Gills Creek Flood 2015 - What To Do Now

Published October 12, 2015

Gills Creek Watershed 2015 Flood Update

Published October 8, 2015

Gills Creek Watershed Visual Recap

Gills Creek Visual Recap

This visual recap appeared in The State newspaper on Sunday, October 19. It shows the watershed with callouts noting events during the flooding.


For recent information and news articles about the flooding, see our News Page...


For mapping resources, see Maps Links Page...



Legislative Update February 2017

Two bills were introduced in the House in December 2016 and have been passed to the Senate.

H 3218 Summary: Dams and Reservoirs Safety Act
A bill to amend section 49-11-120, Code Of Laws Of South Carolina, 1976, relating to definitions under the Dams And Reservoirs Safety Act, so as to revise certain definitions in order to make the provisions of this act further applicable to certain dams; and to amend section 49-11-150, relating to dam or reservoir owners being responsible for the safe maintenance of their dams or reservoirs, notice to the Department of Health and Environmental Control of dam or reservoir ownership changes, and emergency action plan requirements for specified dam owners, so as to require annual reporting to the department by dam or reservoir owners of certain owner contact and other information, together with a completed owner checklist, and to require the owners of dams or reservoirs classified as a high or significant hazard annually to provide a current emergency action plan including contact information of specified officials, downstream residents, and business owners.
Follow the bill at the SC Statehouse web site...
Complete bill...

H 3340 Summary: Dams
A bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding section 49-11-235 so as to provide that the owner of a dam which fails or failed on or after October 1, 2015, which has a public road or highway in the state highway system running across the top of it, must provide written notification to the State Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Environmental Control indicating whether or not the owner intends to repair the dam and the date by which the repairs are anticipated to be completed, to provide the timelines in which this notification must be provided, and to authorize the Department of Transportation to proceed under certain conditions and in a specified manner with the process of repairing the public road or highway, if the dam owner indicates the owner does not intend to repair the dam.
Follow the bill at the SC Statehouse web site...
Complete bill...

Fort Jackson Update December 14, 2016

There was a public meeting about the options to deal with Semmes Lake and Legion Pond which breached last year.
Three options were presented for Legion Lake:
1. No action
2. Remove dam and dike
3. Repair dam and dike (preferred)

Four options were presented for Semmes Lake:
1. No action
2. Remove dam
3. Dry dam/constructed wetland
3. Repair dam and dike (preferred)

Estimated construction date September 2017.

Here is the comment form with links to larger maps.

Comments due January 6. The the Draft Environmental Assessment will be released in March for a 30-day comment period.

Dam Update November 9, 2016

At the November Technical Committee meeting, Jill Stewart the Director of the Dam Safety and Stormwater Permitting Division at DHEC updated the committee on the status of dams in the watershed. This information also contains updates from Dan Creed of Heritage Engineering who is working with Spring Lake, Upper and Lower Rock Ford Lakes, and Cary Lake.

Wildewood Pond 2 (aka Beaver Dam Rd or Boyds Pond 2), Forest Lake, Lake Katharine - minor repairs completed, cleared for normal operation.

Spring Lake - Plans are complete, permits are in hand, the construction contract is executed, and work is expected to commence in a week or two. (road closed)

Upper Rockyford - Plans are complete, Land Disturbance and DHEC Dam Safety permits are in hand, and the construction contract is being negotiated. (road closed)

Lower Rockyford - Plans are complete, Land Disturbance and DHEC Dam Safety permits are in hand, and the construction contract is being negotiated. (road closed)

Cary Lake - Plans will be completed in the next week or so and permit submittals will be made while the project is bid. (road closed)

Lower Windsor Lake - Plans in DHEC review.

Arcadia Woods Lake - Lawsuit settled, homeowners now own dam (road closed)

Pine Tree Lake - Now classified as high hazard and under DHEC authority (two roads closed)

Dam on Old Still Road in Wildewood area - Now classified as high hazard and under DHEC authority (road closed)


Special Tax Districts

In September 2016, Richland County Council received requests to establish Cary Lake Special Tax District, Upper Rockyford Lake Special Tax District, Rocky Ford Lake Special Tax District, and Beaver Dam Special Tax District to add taxing authority to those lake areas which will allow them to borrow or issue bonds to repair the failed or damaged dams.


Richland County Blue Ribbon Committee

The Blue Ribbon Committee was established by Richland County Council to serve as a stakeholder group that will make recommendations to Council about flood recovery efforts and how best to use flood relief funds. The committee is a team of representatives from local neighborhoods, non-profits, businesses, civic and faith-based groups and other organizations, as well as elected officials. Gills Creek is participating in these meetings. Meetings began in February 2016 and continue on a monthly schedule.

The schedule, agenda and minutes are available on the County's Richland County Blue Ribbon Committee web page.

City of Columbia Flood Recovery Plan

The City hired Landmark Consulting to develop a flood recovery plan which was developed in coordination with a number of City departments. The plan identifies projects that can be funded by the FEMA Public Assistance Grant, FEMA 406 Hazard Mitigation, CDBG-Disaster Recovery, 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, NRCS Waterway Debris Removal, Pre-disaster Mitigation Grant Program (PDM), and the Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program (FMA).

City Council received a flood recovery program report on July 19 which contains this and more information.


Resources and Volunteer Opportunities

Richland County Flood Recovery Information

The October 2015 flood resulted in extensive damage to residential and business property, as well as infrastructure, throughout Richland County. Recovering from this historic event will be a multi-year process. Please visit this page to stay informed on flood recovery information and news.
Richland County Flood Recovery Information

City of Columbia Flood Recovery Information

The City has set up a page with information on property acquisition opportunities, flood repair myths and facts, important documents for flood repair process, and more.
City of Columbia Flood Recovery Information

South Beltline Flood Recovery

Started as a grassroots effort to help the South Beltline-Gills Creek community recover from the 2015 Flood, the SBGC has spread to serve not only our immediate neighborhood but also the Richland and Lexington counties. This all-volunteer group is helping rebuild with labor, donations, food, clothing, furniture and answers.
More info...
Facebook...

South Carolina ETV Continuing Coverage

South Carolina ETV's video, audio & articles about the 2015 flood including links to assistance and resources.

DHEC Dams and Reservoirs Safety Program Overview

The Dams and Reservoirs Safety Program was established in 1977 with the passage of the S.C. Dams and Reservoirs Safety Act. Dams which are either 25 feet or more in height or impound (hold back) 50 acre feet or more are regulated by DHEC unless exempted by state law.
Dam Safety Program...

SC DHEC Flood Report

HDR performed engineering services for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) subsequent to an October 2015 storm event that caused flash flooding within the Gills Creek Watershed in Richland County, South Carolina.
Gills Creek Watershed: Assessment of Regulated Dams The report is a 5.5MB 298 page pdf.
HDR Report...

SC Department of Transportation Debris Removal

The SCDOT will be removing storm and household debris in Richland County (except for the City of Columbia who will be conducting debris removal in the city limits). There will be multiple sweeps through the county.
More information from SCDOT...
An illustration from FEMA on how to arrange and separate debris for pickup...
(A smaller version for slower internet connections...)

Flood Repair Permitting

Richland County and the City of Columbia both require inspections and flood repair permits before attempting to restore a flood-damaged structure in the flood plain.
More information from Richland County and the City of Columbia.

City of Columbia Flood Repair Permitting

Anyone making repairs to a flood-damaged structure in the City of Columbia needs to get a zoning and building permit from the Development Center.
More info...

SC Department of Employment and Workforce Disaster Unemployment Assistance

DUA is a Federal program that provides temporary weekly assistance to individuals, including small-business owners and the self-employed, whose employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster.
SC Department of Employment and Workforce web site...

Small Business Administration Low-Interest Disaster Loans

SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters.
SBA Disaster Loans...

Mapping Resources


Richland County GIS Mapping
Richland County GIS Maps
To help respond to the declared Natural Disaster in Richland County, the county GIS team has worked with numerous partners to provide recovery and assessment support. As part of that effort, several geospatial tools have been developed and are available for use by local authorities for coordination efforts and to the public for information. We thank our corporate friends at Woolpert and Google for their support.
Of particular interest is the RCGeo Flood 2015 map which, with aerial imagery from Woolpert is being updated with current information on road closures, dam conditions, and floodplain mapping.


Gills Creek Watershed Interactive Map
Gills Creek Interactive Map
View an interactive map which lets you search for your home, turn layers on and off, change base maps, and share on Facebook, Twitter or by email. Please note that to search for an address, you will need to add "Columbia, SC" to the address you enter.


More mapping resources...