Leaders in the Midlands, S.C. region of South Carolina have been especially harsh on Haley, urging her to free up additional emergency response resources while accusing her of being ill-prepared for the downpour.
“This is like Jim Hodges all over again,” one Republican lawmaker told FITS, referring to the botched evacuation of Charleston, S.C. during the 1999 Hurricane Floyd scare.
“Resources should have been prepositioned to deal with this,” another GOP lawmaker told us.
In Columbia, S.C., the fire chief said 2,000 homes were underwater and required immediate evacuation. Local authorities – stretched thin due to numerous road closings in the area – did not have the resources necessary to conduct such emergency operations.
House leadership was reportedly on the phone with the governor telling her to active additional resources from the (National) Guard.
Haley declared a state of emergency last Thursday and ordered the National Guard to coordinate its efforts with the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD). The guard was fully activated at 9:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday morning in response to the downpour, sources close to the agency told FITS. Unfortunately, it was too late for them to position themselves where they needed to be.
“People can’t get to their posts,” one source told us.
The SCEMD said it was doing everything in its power to address the flooding.
“State resources are fully deployed in rescue (and) life safety operations statewide,” the agency tweeted. “Emergency operations in full effect.”
“Floodmaggedon” is Haley’s first major natural disaster since becoming governor in January, 2011.
UPDATE: More on Haley’s response.