Oct 05 2015

Hurricane Joaquin Flooding

As most people know, an enormous hurricane passed by the east coast this past weekend. Hurricane Joaquin, a monster of a storm, became a Category 4 hurricane at its zenith and topped out at 130 mph winds. The water density of the storm in congruence with a low pressure system full of moisture that brought colder temperatures to South Carolina resulted in mind-blowing rainfall to the lowcountry over the past 4 days. The deep moist air flowed over and beneath Joaquin and intensified what was already a potential disaster, and thus resulted in what has become known as the 1,000 Year Storm. Governor Nikki Haley has declared a state of emergency for the entire region and is beckoning people to not leave their homes unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Seabrook Island has endured a beating from the intense flooding that resulted in over a foot and a half of rain. Cars have been abandoned along the side of roads, businesses have been shut down, and people have been stranded on the island for nearly 4 days. The effect of high tides in congruence with the intense rainfall resulted in flooding that hasn’t been witnessed in Seabrook’s history.

Churches services were closed on Sunday, and schools districts have shut down throughout the area to assess damage and to find new routes for buses. Erosion of the beach is a concern, and high tides have left behind a mound of trash along the shoreline. Many of the houses along the island have suffered damage from flooding, and insurance companies estimate that the total damage statewide will be over $1 billion.

Storm surges have created waves upward to 3-5 feet, but many of the locals have stopped heading into the ocean, pointing out concerns over sewage and other dangerous chemicals that may be found in the ocean. Warnings have also been offered to use as little water as possible until the water system can be flushed, and for people to stay out of the flooded areas due to potentially dangerous conditions. Still, the occasional kayaker or paddle-boarder may be seen crossing the flooded roads lining the island.

As of the time of this blog, rain has subsided, but a slight drizzle is still hanging around. Governor Haley insists that we remain alert, as this situation is still ongoing and the end is not yet in sight.

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