Flooding has caused at least 5 deaths thus far as torrential rains drenched the Carolinas, with states of emergency also in New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland. Though Hurricane Joaquin turned eastward away for the coastline, it dumped around 14 -24 inches of rain in a short period of time in South Carolina.
1 in 500 year rain event – flooding on east coast
South Carolina was hardest hit, as more than 50 swift-water rescues were made Columbia alone. Officials say the ground is too saturated with water to absorb anymore, so the potential for the flooding to continue is high. Multiple dam breaches have also occurred in Columbia, causing it to be labelled as a 1 in 500 year rain event. The Seawall at Edisto Beach was breached on Saturday, causing major flooding in that area as well.
Authorities advised residents to stay indoors if they are in a dry place and not go out. Flash flooding threatens to overwhelm cars. At least 113 roads were closed in the Charleston, SC area according to local news watchers. Thus far more than 29,000 customers are without power due to the flooding.
Using the social media hashtag, #TurnAroundDontDrown, authorities advised people not to drive through standing water. Voluntary evacuations were in place in Pepperhill.
Victims caught unawares
One 56 year old woman was going home after a business meeting when floodwaters trapped her beneath a railroad bridge in Spartanburg – filling her car “to capacity.” Another person was killed when a tree crashed onto the roadway, hitting two vehicles. Others died in a traffic accident related to the flooding when they lost control of their car and hit a pedestrian.
Dorchester County reported that at least 100 people had to be rescued at around 03:00 a.m. from one area alone, with the possibility of up to 1,000 in the county before the flooding subsides.
The rain is set to subside for a short period of time, but according to the National Weather Service more is expected tonight. States of Emergency have been declared by by local and federal authorities.
Break in the rain for now. But main heavy rainband cud swing back at us tonite. Still cud get another 2-4″ CHS metro. pic.twitter.com/I8oic0GQtg
— NWS Charleston, SC (@NWSCharlestonSC) October 4, 2015