COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley is asking the federal government to help South Carolina cope with Winter Storm Pax.
The Republican governor requested a federal declaration of emergency Wednesday morning, according to a news release from her office. If approved, the state could receive generators, bottled water, meals and other services.
The federal government would pay for 75 percent of the services, while South Carolina would pay for the rest.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, Haley said the state estimates more than 600,000 people could lose power for up to two weeks. She requested help for "stranded motorists, isolated citizens, medical emergencies, downed trees, road debris, and numerous and widespread power outages."
Haley said private utility companies have called in more than 550 contractors and crews from other states to help. The S.C. National Guard has deployed 14 wrecker teams. The Department of Social Services has opened two shelters and identified sites for 13 more.
Still, Haley said there are 92 shelters across the state that could need generators.
In her letter, Haley noted the state "continues to recover" from last month's winter storm, noting the state has spent more than $2 million to pay for those problems.