On Thursday, a woman drowned in her vehicle in Spartanburg, South Carolina, while a passenger in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell onto the highway.
Emergency crews reported making at least 175 such rescues by midday Monday.
“This is different than a hurricane because it is water, it is slow moving and it is sitting”. Erik Henderson says his town West Ashley, just outside of Charleston has seen almost two feet of rain.
So you can understand why so many Haley opponents are hoping her emergency announcement that the state was experiencing “1,000-year level of rain” could be a teachable moment.
The National Weather Service reported “mind-boggling” rainfall totals in areas already saturated by steady precipitation through much of last week.
Government officials urged people to stay home, and warned that flooding was expected to continue for several days across much of the state. The capital city told all 375,000 of its water customers to boil water before drinking because of water line breaks and the threat of rising water to a treatment plant.
President Obama has signed a disaster declaration for eight counties, and tens of thousands have no power or water in the Columbia area.
“It was a garden hose that just kept pouring ashore in one spot, and that spot was South Carolina“, he said.
“It was traumatic, I’ve never seen anything like this”, said Phyllis Jones, a fifty-year resident of Columbia, the state capital.
That area includes the peninsula of Charleston, which emergency officials have reopened to allow people in and out though more than 30 streets remained flooded. The creek was 10 feet above flood stage, spilling floodwaters that nearly reached the stoplights at a four-lane intersection. State climatologists have said the sun could peek out Tuesday. Thankfully he and his family are safe.
The water receded Monday, but Jones said she has not left her apartment “for fear of looting”. Cox said his only urgent mission would be to head to the airport to pick up his daughter, who was flying back into Columbia from Oklahoma.
GOV. NIKKI HALEY: I do want to see that – say that we have had word that there are people who are taking their boats to the Lake Murray Dam to take pictures of all the water that we’re trying to release.
He said his home didn’t receive any water damage because he doesn’t have a basement.
“This was a record storm“, he said. “We’ve still got easily another 24 hours that you should be extremely careful. I feel very fortunate that we were able to get through this as well as we have”.
The storms are part of a weather system separate from Hurricane Joaquin, which was downgraded to a Category Two storm as it headed toward Bermuda.
The deluge made for otherworldly scenes in Columbia as floodwaters almost touched the stoplights Sunday at one downtown intersection.
Later, rescuers recovered the body of McArthur Woods from the submerged vehicle. They will be inspected in the coming months, as engineers look for damage and internal weakening, said Christy Hall, the state’s acting transportation secretary. Growing up a few blocks away, he said he used to go biking on the normally dry spillway that had crumbled into a sinkhole and now roared with floodwaters.
“Any time local (resources) are overwhelmed, they can request federal assistance from FEMA”, Newport News Fire Department Battalion Chief J. Douglas Carper II explained. “It’s odd leaving everything behind”. Many have imposed overnight curfews.
Downstream, police officers ordered people away from a normally bustling shopping center, and the National Guard helped residents evacuate.