You know you’ve gotten a lot of rain when folks stop measuring the amount in numbers and begin using adjectives to describe how much precipitation has fallen, such as “immense,” “ginormous” and “a whole helluva lot.”
With Hurricane Joaquin staying offshore as it moves up the East Coast, South Carolina was deluged with as much as 20 inches of rain over 24 hours, an amount that left weather forecasters calling the event a “1,000-year storm.”
Area rivers quickly breached their banks, rising, in some cases, 10 feet or more above flood stage.
I got an indication of just how much water had fallen when I visited a local creek about 10 miles north of my home. Normally at this time of year Rocky Creek is about three feet across and six to eight inches deep.
At 10 a.m. Sunday morning it was 700 feet across and 15 feet deep in some places, with water moving briskly as it surged toward the Broad River.
Adding to area woes is the fact that South Carolina has been receiving rain for a couple of days prior to the deluge that began late Saturday, and more rain is anticipated Monday.
As Slate magazine noted, parts of the state received four months of rain in a single day. I don’t care how strong your infrastructure system is, it’s going to have trouble standing up to that kind of a deluge.
(Top: Washed-out railroad tracks in Columbia, SC, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015.)