Letter: SCDOT Of Little Help To Motorists

Dear Editor, If you use this email, please don’t use my name.  Governor Nikki Haley told everybody “don’t go to the Clemson game,” but then she went herself the night before this disaster.  Then she stands up there like a big shot in her news conference, spouting off that “we…

Dear Editor,

If you use this email, please don’t use my name.  Governor Nikki Haley told everybody “don’t go to the Clemson game,” but then she went herself the night before this disaster.  Then she stands up there like a big shot in her news conference, spouting off that “we haven’t seen this level of rain in the low country in a thousand years” so in other words, “don’t blame me for this mess.”

She doesn’t even understand what that statistic means.  CNN said:

Since weather records don’t go back far enough to know if it’s rained this much in South Carolina in a 1,000 years, a ‘thousand-year rainfall’ means that the amount of rainfall in South Carolina has a 1-in-1,000 chance of happening in any given year, explained CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.”

And while she is proudly spouting out misinformation, some poor S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) worker died in the floodwaters.  Shameful.

Government information for the public on road and bridge closures has been a joke.  Look at SCDOT’s Facebook page for examples.


Of course the agency’s hotline number was constantly busy, yet they were bragging about how many callers they served (“as of 7 am today the SCDOT Call Center has helped 124 callers”).  Yet people posting questions on their Facebook page received no response – except from other drivers.

How much does it cost for somebody to answer questions on Facebook?

Also, the information on all the road and bridge closures wasn’t updated – so there was no way for anyone to know for sure which roads were open.  For example, someone asked “Is 301 from Manning to Turbeville passable?”  No answer from SCDOT but someone else responded that the “bridge is completely gone at Black River and one on Juneburn road so I’m really not sure how you could get to Turbeville if 95 is still closed too.”

On DOT’s list of bridge and road closures, this washed out span was nowhere to be found.

So, the public had to get answers on the condition of roads and bridges from each other, not from government.

A friend was trying to get home and nobody in the government would answer the phone to answer a simple question of if the interstate was open.  The DOT website said the interstates were closed, but the only source of accurate information was a truck stop, which said they were open and they had drivers from Florida.

Looks like a lot of people aren’t happy.  Here are excerpts from Facebook responses:

“Map looks like a 3 yr old had a crayon.  Anyone make sense of it?”

“Is there a map that shows the roads more clearly?  I can’t tell which ones specifically are closed.  Wondering for work tomorrow.”

“Is there a ‘INTERACTIVE’ map that i can zoom in and out to find the route i need to take tomorrow.”

“this map is a joke…”

“Not enough info…”

This level of emergency unpreparedness is ridiculous.  It’s not like we’re in a state that gets hurricanes or anything!

Also, go to and click on the link to the “Interstate Flood Map in pdf format.” (It’s only nineteen MB).

This big file (massive for mobile users) shows the low areas on the interstate – like where they had to close Interstate 95 from Interstate 26 all the way to Florence.  A chain is only as strong as the weakest link.  Maybe raising these low areas of the interstate might should be a top priority so next time we get a “1000-year flood” they don’t have to close it?  Just askin’.



sic speaking

Anon: Thanks for your letter.  We’ve been reporting from the beginning of this disaster on the lack of preparedness/ bungled response demonstrated at the state, county and municipal level.  Appreciate your inside take on it as it relates to SCDOT.  We’d say “hope they learn from their mistakes,” but this is South Carolina.

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Paying for incompetence October 5, 2015 at 4:46 pm

I checked SCDOT’s site last night to see were the closure’s were….total joke…they didn’t even have the I-20 Broad River bridge marked as closed.

GrandTango's New Job? October 5, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Wonder what moron they hired to take care of it. Could it be GT finally found work?

Rocky Verdad October 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm

You’re doing a heck of a job – brownie

U R disgusting rice eater October 5, 2015 at 6:17 pm

In February, Nagin was convicted on 20 counts including bribery, conspiracy and money laundering stemming from his two terms as mayor, including the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

A Democrat, Nagin had been elected as a reformer when he took office in 2002. But prosecutors said graft in his administration began before Katrina and flourished afterward. Bribes included money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business.

Ole ‘brownie’.

Reggie Roby October 5, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Methinks you are confusing Nagin with Michael Brown….

Not that Nagin is without fault whatsoever.

Sic Semper Tyrannis October 6, 2015 at 10:19 am

Great comment about nothing !

nitrat October 6, 2015 at 12:40 pm


Speak D Truth October 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm

The SCDOT to check for local road closures crashed, It wasn’t up to date before it crashed. Sheriff Foster in Newberry County added local road closures in Newberry to his crime map. Kudo’s to him and his IT department. Lexington Public works has a very good map of the numerous road closures there. Kudo’s to Joe Mergo and their IT department. SCDOT should be leading the way but isn’t/ Governor Haley said there are 243 troopers working right now. They should have a force of almost 1,000. Where are the rest of the troopers. I have been told that almost 100 have left the force this year because of mismanagement. That is 100 trained people that could be out there. Mismanagement at both agencies is preventing the citizens of SC from getting all of the help that they need.

Wondering October 6, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Does that 243 troopers working count the 100 troopers assigned to the Clemson game many coming from the Midlands and Pee Dee?

Todd October 5, 2015 at 6:31 pm

I can’t believe she went to the Clemson game. Way to lead by example.

JohnQ October 5, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Oh quit your whining. Republicans cut to the bone and then some and now the system no longer works. The people are getting what they voted for as the chickens come home to roost. Our infrastructure was allowed to fail by republican incompetence.

DumbGov October 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Nimrata is a bad, sad, joke!
Come get all the wateryou can drink..
100 people in line at water distribution site. Sorry, no water here. Don’t know when it will get here…

CorruptionInColumbia October 5, 2015 at 7:43 pm

She is pissing in the water bottles as fast as her kidneys can produce.

Guido Sarducci October 5, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Trikki delayed making the state of emergency call until after the Clemson game bowing to political pressure. Instead of being deployed to the coast, Troopers were sent to the Clemson game to act as parking valets. Lives were lost in the interim. Disgusting.

Thomas October 6, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Haley probably had problems getting back to town Sunday explaining why the press conference was delayed to 3:30 pm. Rep Wilson’s tv interviews today were incoherent. He too is not playing with a full deck.

ELCID October 5, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
As an engineer, every time I hear the words: “Thousand Year Flood.”
I cringe and yell at the TV. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.
We are having an actual 100 year flood.
Which has a 1 in 1000 event chance to happen.
Which means it happens once in every 1000 years.
The last one in Columbia happened in 1908.

Robert October 5, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Every death should be blamed on Nikki Haley.

??? October 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm

or maybe her college roommate who she put in charge of SCDOT?

The Colonel October 6, 2015 at 7:51 am

All but one of those deaths should be blamed on the dumbass that drove into the water. The one wad a DOT worker doing his job.

idcydm October 5, 2015 at 8:15 pm

“-Anonymous” no guts, must be a politician.

mamatiger92 October 6, 2015 at 8:30 am


idcydm October 6, 2015 at 10:28 am

The Tigers did good…a little hard on the blood pressure but all came out well.

Positivedifference54 October 5, 2015 at 8:51 pm

Under funded and under staffed. Is it any surprise the roads washed out and fell apart in so many places. Maybe if they had been properly maintained and upgraded the state wouldn’t be in this mess. Deferred maintenance has reared its ugly head now. It will cost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars to fix our state infrastructure that has crumbled under the onslaught of the rain that came the last couple of days. What a shame.

Reggie Roby October 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

But hey, we have the among the lowest gas taxes in the nation!!!

Positivedifference54 October 5, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Yep, it sure shows how our roads have faired under the onslaught of the rain we had.

Reggie Roby October 5, 2015 at 9:13 pm

I look forward to my next flat tire on I-26!

Thomas October 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm

SC’s budget allocates 38% to education, 0.3% to Public Assistance, 22.6% to Medicaid, 2.8% for Prisons, 9.1% to Transportation, and a whopping 27% listed as OTHER.

The 27% of our budget going to OTHER includes tax payer contributions to public employee pensions and public employee cadillac health benefits etc. There is your under funded and under staffed government at work.

Btw, SC is 71 billion dollars in debt. This debt largesse stems from market-valued unfunded public pension liabilities etc. SC will not recover with these budget outlays and debt.

Oh, and 51% of revenue comes from sales taxes which are to be increased.

Positivedifference54 October 6, 2015 at 6:34 pm

More like Hyundai health benefits. Ask a state employee if their health insurance covers the cost of a physical. Do you take over 8.5% out of your paycheck every pay period and put it toward your retirement fund? Unfunded pension benefits? Do you honestly think that all state employees will be able to retire at once. So tell me how often do you have to deal with the public on a daily basis? As often as government employees? When was the last time you worked weekends, holidays and third shift like Police, Fire, Scdot and other government employees have to do?

Ted October 5, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Football always precedes everything in this ‘dumb state’ – now the average Joe is paying the price of ‘deferred maintenance’ , admin English for neglect.
And the Ted Cuz and ‘ limited government ‘ crowd are now desperately looking for the federal titt. Washington and Obama is going to bail out the crowd around lee Bright who prefered to talk about Sharia law instead of funding a roads repair bill. well done ! , the SC ruling class has shown itself from it’s true side : contempt for the average’s citizen’s needs (sewer, roads, education) and while they hide behind providing ‘ minimally adequate’ services they make sure they are in the the frontline of the all-you-can-eat buffet – or at “the game”!

Positivedifference54 October 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

I can’t wait for the public to find out just how bad the culvert pipes are that are under our roads. It’s no wonder so many roads washed out. Cracks in the pipes allows the water to get outside of the pipes and wash out the soil around them which causes the roads to fall in and wash down stream. There is a lot more to our roads than just asphalt. Drainage pipes, road beds and the asphalt overlay. Yes indeed, we will see more and more failures in the future unless we start modernizing our worn out pipes, roads, etc. (Infrastructure) Are you listening people?

nitrat October 6, 2015 at 12:35 pm

The SCDOT surely ain’t what it used to be…and, the longer the SC cabinet system goes on it looks like all cabinet agencies will just get worse and worse.

The Colonel October 6, 2015 at 7:46 am Reply

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