At least 11 deaths have been reported due to the massive historic wide scale flooding that South Carolina has suffered due to Hurricane Joaquin. We knew the flooding was going to be severe, but even we were taken aback at such wide scale flooding. While much of the East Coast was spared the brunt of Hurricane Joaquin’s wrath, South Carolina took the brunt of all it had to offer our coast.
Multiple dams have failed across the state, adding to the massive flooding due to record downpours near Charleston. Over 22 Inches have fallen so far, the state has never seen so much rain fall in such a short time. The rains have left much of the region without power.
South Carolina was not caught unaware, thankfully the Governor declared a state of emergency well in advance of the storm reaching her states grounds. Even the states capital Columbia, was not sparred from the flooding, in fact the capital has seen its worst flooding in history. The disaster is expected to only get worse on Wednesday, according to emergency management officials working for Gov. Nikki Haley.
Gov. Nikki Haley has been very vocal about the depth of this disaster, stating that “We haven’t seen this level of rain in the Low country in 1,000 years. That’s how big this is,”. She also quickly added “That’s what South Carolina is dealing with right now. The Congaree River is at its highest level since 1936.”. The problem was further aggravated due to dam failures, and at least 9 dams in South Carolina have failed. The dams were strong, but were never intended to deal with this record rainfall and flooding, so in the face to that massive amount of water, one dam after another began to break, some rather spectacularly.
Damage is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Residents lives may never be the same, forever touched by hurricane Joaquin even though this hurricane never made land fall, unique weather conditions created rains no one could truly prepare for. The amount of rain was almost unbelievable. While the flood waters will eventually abate and recede, the damage will likely take years to repair.
Thousands of families have lost everything. Some poor souls only have what they were wearing after the storm hit. Hundreds of businesses were destroyed, and a good chunk of those will never be rebuilt. For every business that remains closed for only 3 days, 40 percent of them never reopen, that is a stark fact about businesses and the economic impact such a storm can have to a geographical area. It remains to be seen the exact scope and extent of the damages that hurricane Joaquin has caused to South Carolina.
Of the 11 deaths reported thus far from the rain and weather, 7 drowned, while 4 other residents died in traffic accidents that were directly related to the deluge of rain. One of the deaths was that of a South Carolina Department of Transportation employee who died while performing his duties. Even North Carolina has reported 2 deaths due to the weather, and more could still be reported, since the waters may be covering more.