2 Year Anniversary of the Flood
Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the flood that decimated many parts of the Midlands. That was an awful night – a night I’ll never forget and hope that never comes again. As a meteorologist, weather is a lot of fun. But the fun stops when weather hurts people and this was one of those storms that looked like it was going to hurt a lot of people. Three days before the storm hit, all indications were that it was going to be very bad. Remember that the ground was already saturated from a storm that had come through in late September and it looked like we would get at least 6 inches of rain – that was the best scenario. The worst-case scenario was for 18 to 20 inches. Unfortunately the worst case came true. But the storm was a bit slow to get going. We got some rain on Saturday – not more than a few inches. Saturday night it picked up and didn’t let up until around noon on Sunday. A weather watcher from near Manning kept updating me throughout the night. By 1:00 AM Sunday he had measured a foot of rain. By 3:30 AM he had measured 18 inches. In a phone call the Clarendon County Sheriff said his County had become “3 islands.” First-responders in Columbia were coming up to intersections and only seeing roofs of cars – they only hoped that the occupants had gotten out. The river gauge at Gills Creek measured 10 feet higher than it ever had – and then it broke. As the sun came up, we got pictures and videos from all around the Midlands. It was indeed the worst-case scenario.
Here’s a link to an excellent summary of the flood, put together by the National Weather Service.