By BRUCE SMITH
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Figures are still being added but it appears damage from the recent winter storm meets the threshold for declaring much of South Carolina a federal disaster area.
Derrec Becker of the state Emergency Management Division says officials are confident damage totals will allow state and local governments to qualify for federal help for costs of dealing with the storm and its aftermath.
The Feb. 11-13 storm at one point cut power to 350,000 electric customers. Preliminary estimates put damage and other costs at $120 million, which includes about $15 million in private insurance claims.
If declared, it would be the first federal disaster in South Carolina in almost a decade. The last was for a 2005 Upstate ice storm.