Historic South Carolina floods prompt boil water alert

Oct. 8, 2015

Residents have been asked to conserve water until a breach in the Columbia Canal is fixed.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Oct. 8, 2015 — Officials put boil water advisories in place for the city after historic flooding threatened water supplies, according to weather.com.

The system-wide alert was lifted for some residents in the town of Chapin and nearby areas, but all other customers should still boil water before drinking or cooking it, noted the article. Consumers should follow the city’s drinking water advisory guidelines.

The boil water alert still in place affects 375,000 customers, stated abcnews.com. The advisory has been in effect for one week.

The Columbia Canal’s water level reached dangerously low levels after the record rainfall caused a breach downstream from the treatment plant, reported the article. Residents have also been asked to conserve water until crews repair the damage.

Several South Carolina counties will receive federal disaster aid, shared the article. As of Oct. 8, the death toll from the floods stood at 17. The cost of the floods is estimated to be about $1 billion.

"I believe that things will get worse before they get better," Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said Monday in the article. "Eventually the floods will abate, but then we have to access the damage, and I anticipate that damage will probably be in the billions of dollars, and we’re going to have to work to rebuild. Some peoples’ lives as they know them will never be the same."

Floods of this magnitude have a one in 1,000 chance of happening, noted the article, meaning it is a 1,000-year rain event.

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