Wednesday, October 7, 2015
This weekend, my state was hit with a massive amount of rain. Dozens of inches of rain all within 3 days. Most of it on Saturday. Our town had 11 inches. The midlands had almost 30.
Flooding started Saturday and continued throughout the weekend. Even now, with the sun shining outside, there is more flooding happening because dams are breaking. Cities have been evacuated. So many people have lost their homes. So many people lost their lives. A friend of a friend drowned in her car when she was caught in flood waters. The damage can't even be put into words. And damage is still happening.
We were so lucky. Somehow, through some magic, our town was one of the few that wasn't hit hard by the weather. We had some flooding but it never reached our street. The rain stopped and an hour later our yard didn't even have a puddle. Meanwhile every town surrounding us, every county bordering us, was flooded with over a foot of water. In many places the water was as tall as a man or taller.
I can't do this justice with words. I have seen entire houses swallowed by rain water. I have seen roads washed away, bridges that are usually stories above rivers bathed in river water because the water level rose so high, entire roads and interstates shut down, the entire peninsula of Charleston was cut off from the rest of the state and the flooding was so bad that people were not allowed to enter the town. An aerial view of the midlands of South Carolina right now shows a swamp land with just a few house roofs peeking out. The sky is so blue and clear for the first time in 2 weeks but we are suffering and the damage is excruciating and it just keeps coming. We were lucky. We were safe. None of our friends or family lost anything in the flood, even though everyone we love lives in the Midlands or Charleston. We were spared.
With all of that said, I also have to say that South Carolina is one of those magical places where someone is always willing to help. We are facing a lot of clean up and homelessness, a lot of heart break and damage, but we are all together in it. Immediately there were people putting together volunteer groups to go out and help communities clean out the damaged houses and try to prevent mold and bacteria from growing and spreading. Libraries opened their doors to be water distribution centers. My favorite tea shop opened as soon as it was safe to do so and offered free cups of tea and coffee and some company to anyone who needed it. Citizens were out in their boats helping rescue teams get people out of their flooded houses. Teams of people were moving shelter dogs to higher ground and delivering water to them. There is nowhere like here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in a storm. I love this state.
We are still in the middle of this but I know we will pull through and we will help each other get back on our feet.