Record-setting rain slams South Carolina

  • Buddy Benford pilots his boat past a home nearly submerged by flood water on Oct. 8, 2015 in Andrews, SC. 
  • David Castillo helps move ostriches from their flooded pen on Oct. 7, 2015 in Givhans, SC.
  • Residents look down Mayfield St. as the Ashley river floodwaters rise in the Ashborough subdivision near Summerville, S.C., Oct. 6, 2015. Residents are concerned that the Ashley river will continue to rise as floodwaters come down from Columbia. 
  • Children take a break from cleaning up a home in the Forest Acres neighborhood Oct. 6, 2015 in Columbia, SC. 
  • Trey McMillian looks over the damage done by flood waters on a road in Eastover on Oct. 6, 2015 in Eastover, S.C.
  • A search and rescue crew makes plans near the Congaree National Forest on Oct. 6, 2015 in Eastover, S.C.
  • A house is surrounded by flood water after heavy rains on Oct. 6, 2015 in Eastover, S.C.
  • Floodwaters rush over a diversion dam in Columbia, S.C., Oct. 6, 2015. Despite an improving forecast, it will still take weeks for the state to return to normal after being pummeled by a historic rainstorm. 
  • A man makes his way through floodwaters in the parking lot of The Citadel Beach Club on Isle of Palms, S.C., Oct. 5, 2015. 
  • Eric Van Sant rescues possessions from a flooded home in the Forest Acres neighborhood Oct. 5, 2015 in Columbia, SC. 
  • Flood waters rush through the breach of the Columbia Canal as emergency workers prepare giant sandbags to plug the hole on Oct. 5, 2015 in Columbia, S.C.
  • A vehicle is flooded following heavy rains and flash flooding along Black Creek in Florence, S.C., Oct. 5, 2015. Flooding continues throughout the state following record rainfall amounts over the last several days. 
  • Jeanni Adame rides in her boat as she checks on neighbors seeing if they want to evacuate in the Ashborough subdivision near Summerville, S.C., after many of their neighbors left, Oct. 5, 2015.
  • Richard Conley, at left, and Rick Hoffman walk back from their house in the Ashborough subdivision near Summerville, S.C., after evacuating from it for the last time after collecting all the personal items they could Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. South Carolina is still struggling with flood waters due to a slow moving storm system. 
  • Floodwaters close in on homes on a small piece of land on Lake Katherine in Columbia, S.C., Oct. 5, 2015. After a week of steady rain, the showers tapered off Monday and an inundated South Carolina turned to surveying a road system shredded by historic flooding.
  • Will Brennan, Matt Talley and Tyler Bahnmuller take a canoe to investigate their homes following flooding in the area Oct. 5, 2015 in Columbia, SC. The state of South Carolina experienced record rainfall amounts over the weekend which stranded motorists and residents and forced hundreds of evacuations and rescues. 
  • A Liberty Income Tax store shows damage from yesterday’s flood waters on Garners Ferry Road following flooding in the area Oct. 5, 2015 in Columbia, S.C. The state of South Carolina experienced record rainfall amounts over the weekend which stranded motorists and residents and forced hundreds of evacuations and rescues. 
  • The interior of a flooded car is seen in Columbia, S.C., on Oct. 5, 2015.
  • David Linnen takes a yard rake to clear drains in front of Winyah Apartments in Georgetown, S.C., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. Much of South Carolina has experienced historic rain totals coupled with an unusually high lunar tide causing wide spread flooding. The apartment complex has been evacuated.
  • Homes are inundated by flood waters on Oct. 4, 2015 in Columbia, S.C.
  • Jordan Bennett, of Rock Hill, S.C., paddles up to a flooded store in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. The rainstorm drenching the U.S. East Coast brought more misery Sunday to South Carolina, cutting power to thousands, forcing hundreds of water rescues and closing many roads because of floodwaters. 
  • Ammie McKnight watches the level of floodwaters in the front yard of her Orange Street home in Georgetown, S.C., on Oct. 4, 2015.
  • Helicopters fly over the Congaree River, swollen with floodwaters, near the Gervais Street bridge in West Columbia, S.C., Oct. 4, 2015. 
  • Charlene Stennis takes her son Christian Hoo-Fong from a fireman after being stranded in a vehicle by flood water on Oct. 4, 2015 in Columbia, S.C. The state of South Carolina is experiencing record rainfall amounts. 
  • A man kayaks on Tall Pines Circle on Oct. 4, 2015 in Columbia, S.C.
  • Chuck Richardson and his wife Ginger inspect their flooded Front Street office building in Georgetown, S.C. Oct. 4, 2015. Most major roads through the historical South Carolina city have closed due to flooding. Vast swaths of U.S. Southeast and mid-Atlantic states were grappling with heavy rains and flooding from a separate weather system which has already caused at least five deaths, washed out roads and prompted evacuations and flash flood warnings. 
  • Will Cunningham, 14, rides his bike down Station 29 on Sullivan’s Island, S.C., with his friend Patrick Kelly, 14, going the kayak route during flood waters on Sullivan’s Island Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Rain pummeling parts of the East Coast showed little sign of slackening Saturday, with record-setting precipitation prolonging the soppy misery that has been eased only by news that powerful Hurricane Joaquin will not hit the U.S. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
  • Laura, left and Mike Gollobin, from the Isle of Palms, S.C., watch waves crash over an experimental sea wall to protect the Ocean Club condos during high tide on the Isle of Palms Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. The South Carolina coast is getting hammered with historic rains along with an unusual lunar high tide causing flooding all over the state.



The deadly, record-smashing rainfall that soaked South Carolina may have finally passed, but the threat was far from over early Tuesday.

Much of the state was still underwater, with more than 20 rivers flooded and 10 dams breached. Gov. Nikki Haley warned residents late Monday “to be cautious and stay home.”

Despite only a smattering of rain still falling on Myrtle Beach and the North Carolina coast at 3:30 a.m. ET, forecasters warned some areas could still see rising water levels as the flooding flowed down to the coast.

“Anywhere from mid-state down toward the coast may well see rising waters throughout the week,” Weather Channel lead meteorologist Kevin Roth said. “This will take until at least Friday, if not the weekend.”

At least 13 people have been killed — 11 in South Carolina and 2 in North Carolina — in what experts have deemed a “1,000-year flood event,” meaning in any given year there is a 1-in-1,000 chance of that much rain.

Countless weather records have been broken, including the South Carolina’s rainiest day on record.

Six rivers were in a state of major flood early Tuesday, with seven in moderate flood and eight in minor flood, according to the National Weather Service. Charleston and other parts of coastal South and North Carolina were still under flooding warnings as of 3:30 a.m. ET.

At least 18 dams had been breached across South Carolina, according to the state’s Emergency Management Division.

Roth said the main danger posed by the lingering water was to people who tried to drive through flooded roads in their cars.

“That’s the number one danger at this point,” he said. “If the journey is essential, people should take it while the sun is up, so they can at least have a better idea of what they’re driving into.”

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration Monday night, ordering federal aid to help recovery efforts.

By Monday evening, 365 state-maintained roads and 166 bridges were closed, while 40,000 people were without running water and more than 26,000 were without electricity.

Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said there had been too many rescues to keep count.

Shamar Walters contributed.

Speak Out