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News Release

USDA Assistance Available to Protect Infrastructure Damaged by Hurricane Florence

Sabrenna Bryant

Assistance Request Deadline is Dec. 5, 2018

Columbia, S.C., Oct. 26, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in South Carolina is accepting requests for assistance to help communities implement critical emergency measures and protect eligible infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, houses, and businesses as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Florence and associated flooding.

Requests for assistance through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program, which is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods and other natural occurrences in watershed, must be submitted in writing to the NRCS State Conservationist in South Carolina by Dec. 5, 2018.

“NRCS is partnering with local sponsors to protect eligible infrastructure that is in jeopardy and continues to pose threats to life and property,” said Ann English, State Conservationist for NRCS in South Carolina. “Requests need to be submitted by the deadline so NRCS can determine site eligibility for assistance.”

Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but all EWP projects must be sponsored by a state, tribal county or municipal unit of government. Funding will be based on initial damage assessments. Sponsors will participate in more detailed damage assessment reports that will give a clearer picture of the needs.

Examples of common EWP projects include NRCS assistance to local government entities in repairing water control structures, clearing debris-clogged waterways, and stabilizing severely eroded streambanks that threaten homes, business, and utilities.

Generally, NRCS will pay between 75 and 90 percent of the restoration costs, and the sponsor is responsible for the remainder, which can include in-kind support. EWP allows sponsors 60 days from the disaster occurrence or 60 days after the site is accessible to request federal assistance.

For more information on the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, please contact Carter Bagley, SC NRCS State Engineer at or 803-765-5683.  In addition, contact your local USDA Service Center or visit the South Carolina NRCS website at For more information on disaster assistance programs for farmers and ranchers, visit