Massive flooding devastated South Carolina over the weekend as the state was hit by torrents of rain that the governor called a once-in-a-millennium event.
At least six people have been killed in flash flooding throughout the state, with the relentless rainfall dumping up to 18 inches of rain in parts of South Carolina by early Sunday morning. That’s more than the state sees for the entire month of October.
“We are at a 1,000-year level of rain,” Gov. Nikki Haley said, urging people to stay home and off the roads, according to CNN. “That’s how big this is.”
More than 200 flood rescues have been conducted since Saturday night, while schools and universities remain closed Monday. Seventy miles of Interstate 95 were closed on Sunday night as floodwaters overflowed onto the highway.
And the rain is still falling: Another two to six inches are expected through Monday night. “Regardless of where you are in the state, stay home,” Gov. Haley said. “Stay off the roadways.”
In Columbia, the state’s capital, residents were told to boil their drinking and cooking water as it may have become contaminated by the floodwaters, according to The State.
“Rising water from flooding can carry viruses, bacteria, chemicals and other submerged objects picked up as it moves through storm water systems, across industrial sites, yards, roads and parking lots,” the South Carolina Emergency Response Team said.
Columbia resident Angela Williams watched from higher ground as the flooding destroyed her home. “We have lost everything. What I got on my body is what we have,” she told WIS-TV. “Pretty much everybody down that hill there has lost everything … our vehicles, our clothes, everything.
“But the best thing is that we still have our lives.”