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‘Once-in-a-millennium’ Rainstorm Swamps South Carolina

Posted by feww on October 5, 2015

Georgetown buried under water

The massive rainstorm pounding the southeastern United States has dumped more than 500mm of rain on large swathes of central South Carolina since Friday, and up to 150mm of additional rain is forecast for the region, said the National Weather Service (NWS).

South Carolina Governor Haley has called the extreme rain event a “once-in-a-millennium event.” [No, she’s not a time traveler. Editor]

The Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina’s state capital, has declared a nighttime curfew, which began at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, in response to historic flooding.

“The flood is unlike anything we’ve ever dealt with before,” he said.

  • About 10 weather-related deaths have been reported across the region, according to various media.
  • Hundreds of roads and more than a dozen bridges have been closed. A 100-km stretch of Interstate 95, a major East Coast highway, was closed due to severe inundation.
  • Hundreds of weather-related accidents have been reported.
  •  Congaree River in Columbia reached its highest level in more than 80 years.

Federal State of Emergency

The White House declared a Federal State of Emergency in all 46 South Carolina counties and the Catawba Nation pummeled  by severe storms and flooding late Saturday.

The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey have declared states of emergency, mobilizing the National Guard troops to deal with ongoing and potential disasters.

Potentially historic and life-threatening flooding continues across the Southeast —NOAA

The threat for widespread, catastrophic flooding will continue across parts of the Southeast through the remainder of the weekend, as tropical moisture feeding into an area of low pressure produces moderate to heavy rainfall across the region. Gusty winds are also possible, which could lead to downed power lines.

Hurricane JOAQUIN:  @ 11:00 PM AST Sun Oct 4
Location: 33.1°N, 65.5°W
Moving: NNE at ∼ 20 km/hr
Min pressure: 961 mb
Max sustained: ∼ 140 km/hr
[NHC/NOAA]

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