Fifty Two Weeks of Adventure # 40: The 1,000 Year Storm

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.

This is the street right outside of my complex. It's a miracle we still have power. Ours must run from the other side of the street.

This is the street right outside of my complex. It’s a miracle we still have power. Ours must run from a different line.

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.

This intersection is less than a mile away from my home. I drive through it nearly every day.

This intersection is less than a mile away from my home. I drive through it nearly every day.

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.

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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.

If you have an adventure to share, add your link to the link-up by clicking the button below. You can also click this button to read other bloggers’ adventures. You can participate in all of the adventures or you can just do a few. If you missed last week’s adventure where I ugly-cried at my best friend’s wedding, you can find it here. And if you are new to my Fifty-Two Weeks of Adventure project you can find out more about it here.

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10 comments

    1. I’ve really seen people rallying to support one another in beautiful ways here. I know it will be a long road for some people to get back what they’ve lost, but I’m encouraged by the community’s attitude and efforts.

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  1. Glad to hear that you are safe. Sending out prayers for all affected. Unfortunately, recovery will be a very, very long process. My town experienced a record flood in 2011 and there are still effects in evidence.

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    1. Thank you. I think you’re right. It’s going to be a long road to full recovery. I’m doing some substitute teaching these days for a teacher who lost her home in the flood and even knowing that many people have insurance and that things will be rebuilt, it’s still devastating to have lost everything.

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  2. Hi LIly, you write so beautifully and really took me on this terrible journey with you. I haven’t been watching the news a lot lately but heard something about the floods and these days I usually make the connect to my blogging community but I’ve been a bit tired and coughy.
    I was up North at Byron Bay when Brisbane experienced it’s severe floods. They had 400mm in one day and I have a feeling you guys experienced 800mm in one day, although I could be sure. I don’t know whether it helps being a veteran of this type of weather or not. It’s supposed to build resilience and make you stronger and more resourceful but it’s a lot to deal with. We had a moderate storm a few months ago and out beach badly eroded and they’re setting up sand bags. It’s been weird seeing earth moving equipment on our pretty beach. Take care and sending my prayers xx Rowena

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    1. Thanks, Rowena. I’m so thankful that we were safe and relatively unaffected, but it’s been very unsettling to see how severe the damage has been here in some places. Like you said, it’s hard to totally wrap your mind around how nature can completely take over the man-made things that seem so secure. I’m glad you weren’t affected by the flooding in Brisbane. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

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