Man in wreck is Irma’s second South Carolina death

Pedestrians walk by a flooded car on a street as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, S.C., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

COLUMBIA — The Latest on Irma’s effects in South Carolina (all times local):


12:05 p.m.

South Carolina officials say a man was killed in a wreck on a wet and windy interstate as Irma moved past.

Public Safety Director Leroy Smith said 21-year-old Zhen Tain died in the crash on Interstate 77 east of Columbia around 3:15 p.m. Monday.

Troopers say Tain crashed into another car and his Ford Mustang flipped, trapping him inside. Authorities say the second driver was taken to the hospital. Her condition was not known.

Troopers say the wreck is still under investigation.

The National Weather Service says there was heavy rain in Columbia with wind gusts around 40 mph when the wreck happened.

Tain is the second person killed in South Carolina during Irma. Authorities say a man was hit by a falling limb while clearing debris near his home Monday afternoon in Calhoun Falls.

Smith says Tain was driving too fast for conditions losing control on the wet road, hitting the other vehicle before flipping over on its roof, trapping Tain inside.


11:35 a.m.

Gov. Henry McMaster says he is looking forward to getting South Carolina back to normal after Irma moved past.

McMaster said Tuesday morning the state appeared to survive the storm without significant damage.

Officials say just under 200,000 customers remain without power, most of them in northern South Carolina.

Authorities say about 160 roads are closed in 22 counties, but the only serious damage is to the causeway that carries U.S. Highway 21 from Beaufort to the barrier islands.

Charleston officials are asking people to stay away from the Battery downtown as crews clean up from 4 feet of storm surge.

McMaster did say emergency officials are watching Hurricane Jose, which forecasters say will moving due north about 500 miles (800 kilometers) offshore of Charleston on Sunday.


10:50 a.m.

South Carolina road officials say they have had to close a lane of southbound Interstate 95 just as evacuees from Irma begin to return home.

The Department of Transportation said Tuesday that Irma’s winds and rains likely helped damage a culvert on I-95 in Dillon County near mile marker 186 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Florence.

Officials say a lane needs to be closed so crews can put up a barrier wall so they can repair the culvert without further disrupting traffic.

Online traffic maps already showed a 10-mile (16-kilometer) backup reaching nearly into North Carolina.

The DOT says the lane should be reopened Wednesday.


10:05 a.m.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says residents of seven islands and a beach evacuated because of Hurricane Irma can return home.

McMaster said on Twitter he ended the evacuation order at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday. The order covered barrier islands in Beaufort and Jasper counties and Edisto Beach in Colleton County.

By far the biggest place evacuated was Hilton Head Island, with 42,000 people. The populations of the other islands ranged from several hundred to a few dozen.

Irma brought several feet of storm surge over the islands Monday, even though the center passed some 200 miles to the southwest.


7:30 a.m.

Tropical Storm Irma no longer exists but she left plenty of problems in South Carolina.

More than 220,000 customers were without electricity early Tuesday. Duke Energy reported the biggest problems with 100,000 customers without service. The biggest problems were in Anderson and Greenville counties.

The South Carolina Electric Cooperatives report that about 63,000 customers are without service. The biggest problems are in Oconee and Charleston counties.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. had 58,000 customers without service early Tuesday. The major problems were in Charleston and Beaufort counties.

Many schools in South Carolina were closed or were opening on a delayed schedule Tuesday.

At least one person died. Fifty-seven-year-old Charles Saxon was killed Monday afternoon by a tree limb while clearing debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls.



Thu, 12/14/2017 - 22:35

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