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South Carolina faces more flooding after rainfall records reach the worst in 1,000 years

By Valerie Edwards

Published 05/10/2015

The interior of a flooded car is seen in Columbia. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The interior of a flooded car is seen in Columbia. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Officials investigate the breach of the Columbia Canal. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Floodwaters cover a cemetery in Georgetown, S.C. (Janet Blackmon Morgan/The Sun News via AP)
A kayaker makes her way through floodwaters on Sullivan's Island, S.C. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
A truck sits off a washed out road outside of Columbia, S.C., Monday. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Flood displaced residents listen to the governors' press conference from a temporary shelter at St. Andrews Middle School in Columbia, South Carolina. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Flood displaced residents watch Governor Nikki Haley's press conference at a temporary shelter at St. Andrews Middle School in Columbia, South Carolina. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Flood displaced residents watch Governor Nikki Haley's press conference at a temporary shelter at St. Andrews Middle School in Columbia. (ANTONOV MLADEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Charlene Stennis is escorted to safety after her son was rescued from a stranded vehicle in a flooded roadway in Columbia, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Charlene Stennis takes her son Christian Hoo-Fong from a fireman after being stranded in a vehicle by flood water. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
A car drives down a flooded street in Charleston, South Carolina. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Columbia Fire Department look out over the flooding on Tall Pines Circle in Columbia, SC. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
A local resident walks his dog on a flooded street in downtown Charleston. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The roof of a vehicle peeks above the flood waters in Columbia, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Homes are inundated by flood waters in Columbia, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Will Cunningham, 14, rides his bike down Station 29 on Sullivan's Island, S.C., with his friend Patrick Kelly, 14, going the kayak route during flood waters on Sullivan's Island. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
A truck with a passenger drives through a flooded parking lot in Florence, S.C., Sunday as heavy rain continues to cause flooding through many parts of the state. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Flooded cars are parked at an apartment complex in Columbia, S.C., Sunday. The rainstorm drenching the U.S. East Coast brought more misery Sunday to South Carolina, cutting power to thousands, forcing hundreds of water rescues and closing many roads because of floodwaters. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
People walk in the water at a flooded street in downtown Charleston. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch as the flood inches toward their door outside of Conway, S.C., Sunday. (Janet Blackmon Morgan/The Sun News via AP)
A small sculpture left by local residents is seen on a flooded street in downtown Charleston, SC. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman crosses a flooded street in downtown Charleston. Much of the US southeast was under water Saturday. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Two man row a boat on a flooded street in Charleston, South Carolina. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Flood waters rise around a title loan store on Garners Ferry Road in Columbia. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Farrell Rose and his fiancee Damita Trapp look away after flood waters surrounded their home in Columbia, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
A vehicle and a man try to navigate floodwaters in Florence, S.C., Sunday as heavy rain continues to cause widespread flooding in many areas of the state. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
A firefighter checks the road in front of his truck on a flooded street in downtown Charleston. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A dog runs on a flooded street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Flood waters rise around a title loan store on Garners Ferry Road Columbia. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

South Carolina is enduring the worst rain in 1,000 years. Record amounts of rainfall battered the state this weekend, shocking residents and officials who've never witnessed such a powerful storm in the region, but it's not over yet.

More than 20 inches of rain have fallen in parts of the state since Thursday, when hurricane Joaquin began nearing the east coast, prompting officials to shut down roads, close school districts and enforce mandatory curfews.

Heavy rain continues to fall over the Carolinas today and local authorities have commenced door-to-door search and rescue for residents.

People who are rescued will be taken out of the flood zone in military vehicles and transported by bus to a designated safe zone shelter, according to ABC News. Crews will also mark a bright orange ‘X’ on the front door of houses that have been checked.

At least 600 National Guardsmen, 11 aircraft and eight swift water rescue teams are taking part in search and rescue efforts. More than 200 water rescues took place in the state from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, the state's emergency management agency said.

With 20,000 homes and businesses without power across the state, the National Weather Service also warned people of winds gusting to 30 mph, increasing the risk of falling trees.

More than 35cm (13 inches) has fallen in three days in Charleston, South Carolina causing schools to shutdown today (Monday) and the closure of several inter-state highways.

On Sunday afternoon, Governor Nikki Haley told reporters that there had been 754 calls for assistance and 320 collisions 12 hours before her press conference.

She said: "We haven't seen this level of rain in the low country in 1,000 years, that's how big this is."

Gov Haley has also urged people to stay inside and resist temptation to go out and take photos or play in the water, as it may be carrying harmful bacteria.

Mayor of Columbia, SC, Steve Benjamin, tweeted information about a Flood Disaster Relief Fund set up by United Way of the Midlands.

He also tweeted: "We can replace property but we can't replace lives. Please stay off the streets and let our first responders do their job."

Authorities in Columbia told all 375,000 of its water customers to boil water before drinking because of water line breaks and the threat of rising water to a treatment plant, according to NBC News.

At least eight people have died in the Carolinas, six deaths were reported in South Carolina, four of them from traffic accidents and two more were reported in North Carolina.

The total 24-plus inches of rain in Boone Hall and 18-plus inches near Kiawah are "mind-boggling," the National Weather Service bureau in South Carolina tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Rainfall in the area broke several records in Charleston, South Carolina, including greatest one day rainfall at 11.50 inches (record 1998), greatest 2-day rainfall at 13.11 inches (record 1973), greatest 3-day rainfall at 14.48 inches (record 1973) and greatest monthly October rainfall at 16.61 inches (1994).

Charleston set a new daily record on Saturday when it experienced 11.5 inches of rain, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported.

The NWS wrote in an update: "To put this in perspective, 11.50 inches is 22.5 per cent of the annual normal rainfall for the City of Charleston."

President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in South Carolina. The move means state and local authorities can receive federal help to deal with the flooding.

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