Deadly flash floods have swept across South Carolina as historic amounts of rain fall on the state.
Rescuers have pulled stranded motorists from rushing waters, while roads across the state have been blocked. The National Weather Service has issued flash flood emergencies for three counties, and says more rain is on the way.
“It’s a historic flood the likes of which we haven’t seen,” South Carolina’s emergency director, Eric Rousey, told CNN.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Four People Have Been Killed & a Firefighter Was Reported Missing
Three deaths in South Carolina have been blamed on the weather, CNN reports.
According to NBC News, a woman drove around a flood barrier in Spartanburg and drowned in standing water. Details of the three other deaths were not immediately available.
On Sunday, a firefighter assisting in a swift water rescue was reported missing in Columbia, but was later rescued, according to WIS-TV. The news station reports that the firefighter was swept away by the water and found clinging to a tree.
2. The ‘Once in 500 Years’ Storm Continues to Inundate the State
More than two feet of rain has been reported across most of the state. The National Weather Service says the highest total is in Gills Creek, where 18.39 inches have rain has fallen.
The rainfall is considered a “once in 500 years” event, and the National Weather Service called the totals, “mind-boggling.”
3. Emergency Crews Have Made More Than 50 Swift Water Rescues
Emergency crews have made more than 50 swift water rescues across the state. The South Carolina Highway Patrol told NBC News it has responded to, “323 collisions, 140 calls for assisting motorists, 138 trees in the roadway and 106 reports of flooding.”
Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said her department has been “overwhelmed” by calls for help.
4. Residents Have Been Told to Stay Home & Off the Roadways
State officials have asked residents to stay home and off the roads.
“This event in our state is unprecedented,” Major General Robert E. Livingston Jr., of the South Carolina National Guard, said on Facebook Sunday morning. “If you are not involved in response efforts, I remind everyone to stay home. The rain situation is life threatening, with flash flooding impacting statewide. … I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of the situation in our state, as rains are expected to continue over the next 24 hours and beyond.”
5. The State Is Preparing for More Rain in the Coming Days
The National Weather Service says more rain is in the forecast for South Carolina.
“Even though rainfall rates have slowed across parts of the midlands, more rain is moving in for later today. The danger is not over. There are many areas affected by flood waters. Do not drive into flood waters, you never know how deep or how fast the water is moving. You also don’t know if the road exists below the flood water. There have been numerous road washouts today. Turn Around Don’t Drown,” the weather service said on Facebook.