Fifteen dead as South Carolina gripped by historic flooding
South Carolina grappled with the damage wrought by record rainfall, as the death toll from widespread flooding rose to 15 on Tuesday and residents braced for more evacuations in areas near dams and swollen waterways across the state.
Predictions of sunny skies in coming days provided only small comfort. More than 800 people were living in shelters after floodwater forced them from their homes, and officials said new evacuations were likely as several rivers remained above flood stage and dams were being monitored for breaches.
"We are still in the mode that the next 36 to 48 hours will be volatile," Governor Nikki Haley told a news conference. "Don't let the sunshine fool you."
Officials said about 300 state-maintained roads and 160 bridges remained closed. Eleven dams in the southeastern state have failed, the state Emergency Management Division said.
Haley said she could not yet estimate the cost of the devastation but noted "the damage is going to be heartbreaking for a lot of people."
More than 2 feet (60 cm) of rain have fallen since Friday in parts of South Carolina. The state avoided a hit from Hurricane Joaquin but experienced historic rainfall and flooding due to a combination of weather mostly unrelated to that storm.
Of the 15 people who died, nine drowned and six were killed in weather-related car crashes, the emergency agency said. The extended rainstorm also was blamed for two deaths in North Carolina.
Labels: United States