Chesterfield County dodged a bullet as a chain of storms dumped nearly 2 feet of rain on parts of South Carolina last weekend, flooding rivers, roads and homes and claiming 11 lives.
Downpours that drenched Columbia with 21.49 inches from Friday through Monday morning had less impact here — National Weather Service reports show rain totals of 5.45 inches in Pageland, 6.31 inches in McBee and 9.23 inches in Chesterfield.
The county saw localized flash flooding, but no permanent damage from the powerful storm system. Nevertheless, county Emergency Management Director Harold Hainey said officials were prepared for the worst.
“We are good,” Hainey said on Monday. “Flood waters have receded and all county dirt roads have been corrected to passable until they dry a little more, but still use caution.”
Perhaps the most talked about and more widely known area that flooded was the boat landing in Cheraw.
On Monday afternoon, Hainey said the water at the ramp had receded and should continue.
” It has gone down approximately 4 foot right now and should continue,” he said. “We do have to watch upstream as the northern states are receiving precipitation at the current time. Right now, we are OK.”
Chesterfield County was prepared to open storm shelters Friday, but Hainey said none were needed as no neighborhoods had to be evacuated.
“We were very fortunate,” he said.
With 11 storm-related deaths reported, Gov. Nikki Haley declared a state of emergency throughout South Carolina. The S.C. National Guard has been called in to help storm victims, along with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials and rescue crews from neighboring North Carolina.
“We are at a 1,000-year level of rain,” Haley said during a Monday press conference. “That’s how big this is.”
Sites in Richland, Sumter and Orangeburg counties saw more than 20 inches of rain, Clarendon logged 19, Fairfield saw 14 and a location in the Kershaw County town of Lugoff recorded just over a foot, according to the National Weather Service office in Columbia.
Reach Maria D. Grandy at 843-537-5261.