Since record-breaking rainfall and flooding began in October, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has been working to reopen all the roads affected by the flood. This is a task that has been ongoing for more than a month and will continue well into next year. One of the only silver linings to this difficult task is that the department’s fleet was barely affected by the flooding, so at no point has it needed to suspend any of its fleet services.
“Overall our fleet and fleet operations sustained very little damage,” said John F. White, director of supply and equipment for SCDOT. “When the flood occurred there was approximately 10% of the fleet down, which is normal. We had very minor damage or loss due to the flood.”
More than a month after the historic rainfall that caused massive damage and flooding throughout South Carolina, many roads still remain closed. During the worst points of the flooding, more than 500 roads and bridges were closed, and that number has since dropped to 73. Some of the remaining roads and bridges are expected to open by Nov. 26, while others are slated for early to late 2016. A number of the roads don’t even have an expected open date.
Only one vehicle was totaled: a pickup truck that was involved in the death of a SCDOT worker. Apart from that, a five yard dump truck sustained water damage to its engine, an air compressor at a bridge site suffered minor cosmetic damage, and a flatbed trailer had $2,400 in damages to its landing gear.
Two trucks will also need their fuel systems repaired after floodwaters contaminated the fuel they had received from an underground storage tank.
The bulk of the work that was needed from the department’s fleet was hauling material. To do this, the department mainly used excavators, backhoes, loaders, dump trucks, and dump trailers. However, the demand for loaders and excavators was so high that the department ended up renting three loaders and 10 excavators to meet that demand. Lowboy tractors were used to move excavators and smaller trucks were used to close road and transport signs and barricades.