Governor Nikki Haley was at the SC Emergency Management Division in Columbia with state officials and agency directors addressing the viewers about the statewide flooding.
She held a 3:00pm press conference.
A dangerous rainstorm drenching the East Coast brought more misery Sunday to South Carolina — cutting power to thousands, forcing hundreds of water rescues and closing “too many roads to name” because of floodwaters.
Early Sunday, emergency management officials sent a statewide alert telling people to stay off roads and remain indoors unless their homes were in danger of flooding. Interstates were closed by flooding in several spots — including a 75-mile stretch of I-95 in the eastern part of the state — and nearly 30,000 customers were without power.
The region around the state capital of Columbia was being hit particularly hard, with the city’s police department tweeting: “Too many roads to name that are flooded. Please heed our warning! DO NOT venture out!”
In the press conference Gov. Haley said, “The one thing I want people to understand is, we haven’t seen this level of flooding in the low country in 1000 years.”
The state is reporting three fatalities from the flooding so far. Haley states, “We are all hands on deck.”
One main issue pushed in the press conference was the health and safety concern of kids playing in the water. Gov. Haley said, “This is not something you want your kids playing in, deep water can have bacteria in it.”
The county government said 100 people had been rescued from vehicles after trying to cross flooded roads, while state officials reported a total of 200 swift-water rescues around the state. Columbia police said another 200 rescue calls were pending as of midmorning.
The Columbia area received the most rain in the state overnight, with up to 14 inches reported in some places since Saturday, forecasters said. To the southeast, meanwhile, rainfall had exceeded two feet since Friday in some areas around Charleston, though conditions had improved enough that residents and business owners were allowed back into the waterlogged downtown on a limited basis.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to more than 300 collisions around the state in the 12 hours leading up to 6 a.m. It cleared nearly 140 trees from roads.
Charleston County 911 operators received 300 calls for assistance in a two-hour period Saturday night. Two mobile home parks in North Charleston were evacuated because rising floodwaters forced crews to cut off the electricity.
The downtown Charleston peninsula, which includes the city’s historic district, has been reopened on a limited basis for residents and business owners after it was closed to incoming traffic Saturday.
“The peak is past, that’s for sure, but there will still be periods of heavy rain that will continue into tonight,” National Weather Service meteorologist Peter Mohlin said of the Charleston area.