Reported by Liku Zelleke
It is thought that at least seven people have died due to record-breaking rains and floods in South Carolina. The disaster also cut power to 20,000 homes.
President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency.
The most rainfall happened on the weekend, between Saturday and Sunday, and was indirectly caused by the moisture from Hurricane Joaquin combined with northeast winds.
Governor Nikki Haley, asked that the more than 300,000 citizens of Columbia to stay indoors and boil water before drinking it.
“This was flooding like we haven’t seen before. Our goal is all hands on deck. If you are in your house, stay in your house, don’t go out in it and take pictures…. The water’s not safe, the water’s got bacteria in it,” she said.
On Sunday, she said that search and rescue teams had been dispatched that included around 600 National Guardsmen, a dozen aircraft and eight swift water rescues teams. So far, they have made over 200 rescues. She also announced a curfew whereby citizens were advised to stay indoors until 6:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
Schools were closed and upon Governor Haley’s urging, so too were government buildings.
In Charleston, meanwhile, 10.5 inches of rain fell over the weekend, but it wasn’t the worst hit. Myrtle Beach was awash with over 15 inches.
Although the rains seem to have subsided, the devastation that was left behind remains calamitous.
Citizens were seen banding together to help one another out using their own personal transport vehicles including boats.
Anaridis Rodriguez (@Anaridis), one such citizen tweeted about how people outside the state could help those affected by the rains and floods:
“Homes across #Columbia underwater, 100s displaced, after wettest day on record. You can help: http://wxch.nl/1JOj4o9”
The American Red Cross put out an urgent plea seeking volunteers who could help those affected by the deadly floods, especially in highly populated areas like Charleston, Columbia Myrtle Beach and the Upstate.
Volunteer information can be found at the following numbers:
Charleston – 843-764-2323 x321
Columbia – 803-508-5251
Myrtle Beach – 843-764-2323 x321
Upstate – 864-270-9575