Over the past few days South Carolina has experienced what is being described as a “1,000 year storm.” Parts South Carolina experienced several feet of rainfall over a two-day period resulting in massive flooding as rivers overflowed their banks and dams burst.
My own city, Columbia, has been hard-hit by the storm. While we are fortunate to be living in a second floor condo in a complex set up on a hill, roads have collapsed and homes have been lost within a quarter mile of us. I grew up in southern Louisiana and have lived through dozens of hurricanes. Other than Katrina, I’ve never seen flooding like this. Buildings have collapsed and sinkholes have opened up and swallowed roads and there are houses with water up to the roofs.
The vet’s office where I took my cats for a check-up on Friday afternoon was covered by three feet of water by Sunday morning. There’s been an eerie, post-apocalyptic feel to the past few days. Everything is quiet except for the frequent sound of sirens and helicopters and the roads are abandoned.
Today the sun is out for the first time in what feels like weeks, but roads are still closed in nearly every direction, so there is nowhere really to go. We are very thankful to have power and running water (though everything has to be boiled) as there are many without. Thirteen people have lost their lives and countless others have lost their homes, their cars, and their businesses.
As a child, the story of Noah and his ark was an enchanting mixture of animals and big puddles and a great wooden boat. Now I can’t help but think of how frighteningly powerful water is. In our culture where we think of the earth as a resource we can bend to our will, we’ve forgotten how strong nature can be and how small and fragile we are in comparison.
Pray for the many who have lost everything so suddenly. Pray for necessary resources to repair and rebuild, and for the restoration of these communities. I still feel like an outsider here, but I can’t help being grieved for all of these losses.
This week’s adventure was a not-so-happy one, but I hope your week has been better.
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