Thanksgiving 2015 marked two months since historic rainfall over South Carolina caused widespread flooding and damage across the state.
The worst flooding in South Carolina history?
Flooding began after storms from the weekend of October 3, 2015 brought up to two feet of rain to various parts of the region. At least nineteen people died in South Carolina and at least 540 roads and bridges were closed due to the unprecedented rains.
Call it a 500-year flood
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said that storms resulted in what can be termed a 500-year flood. More specifically, the USGS said that the rainfall itself was a 1000-year rainstorm, with 500-year flood consequences.
Storm total rainfall graphic from the record-breaking event
— NWS Charleston, SC (@NWSCharlestonSC) October 7, 2015
FEMA deadline extension
FEMA recently extended South Carolina's disaster assistance application deadline, giving state residents until January 3, 2016 to register for assistance. Governor Nikki Haley requested the extra 30 days.
Economic impact: 12 billion
According to The State, the total bill for flood damage is around $1.2 billion so far:
- $114 million from South Carolina taxpayers for recovery
- $181 million in insurance claims to private companies
- $500 million from the federal government for road repair
- $375 million in direct damage to agriculture
NPR recently detailed how South Carolina farmers are now burdened with severe crop losses in the aftermath of the storms and resulting floods. According to the report, farming accounts for 10 percent of South Carolina jobs, and many farmers will have the worst crop losses ever as a result of the floods.
Bridges and Roads
Overall, repairs to South Carolina roads are ahead of schedule. The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) reopened 136 road closures by November 26, which was 12 more than the 124 it had originally estimated by that date.