EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO PLUG BREACH …
National Guard troops have set up a staging area near a major breach in the Columbia Canal – and have ordered nearby homeowners and business owners to evacuate the area.
“They have placed cones around their staging area,” one witness told us.
Meanwhile business owners in the area have been told to move their vehicles in order to provide room for incoming emergency response assets.
“They told my staff to move cars at my office,” one West Columbia, S.C. businessman told FITS. “Said helicopters were coming and (a) large number of Guardsmen.”
Indeed one huge Boeing CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter arrived on the scene Tuesday afternoon to assist in the efforts.
Take a look …
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And a look/ listen …
(Click to play)
And here’s a look at the National Guard convoy approaching the area …
(Click to enlarge)
What’s going on?
Well, a major breach took place late Sunday at the canal – which is located in downtown Columbia, S.C. This breach is one of the more worrisome developments associated with “Floodmaggedon” – one of the worst natural disasters in South Carolina history.
It’s worrisome because the breach is located right next to the City of Columbia’s primary wastewater treatment facility.
“The SC National Guard … brought massive sandbags to the (site) in an effort to stop the flooding,” local television station WLTX TV 19 (CBS – Columbia, S.C.) reported at the time. “Officials say they are trying to repair multiple water breaks throughout the area.”
Now the Guard will attempt to lift heavy earthmoving equipment into the area in an attempt to plug the hole.
We’ll let you know if they are successful …
Built in 1824 using a natural ravine running alongside the Broad and Congaree Rivers, the canal has been used for transportation and hydroelectric power generation. It was also briefly used by Confederate soldiers as a power source for the manufacture of gunpowder used in the Civil War.