South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley is pleading with residents of the U.S. Atlantic coastal state to stay home because she says more rain is on the way in the worst rainstorm in the state’s history.
Small ponds have turned into huge lakes and tiny streams have become rivers. Haley said much of the standing water contains potentially deadly bacteria, and even some rescuers who went to pull people out of floodwaters found themselves stranded and needing help.
Several major highways are shut down, including parts of Interstate 95 – the key east coast highway running from Maine to Florida. Schools, businesses and state offices across the state are closed.
Three storm-related deaths have been reported so far, and President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency ordering federal authorities to help state efforts.
More rain expected
Forecasters predict the rain in South Carolina will continue until Tuesday, but they say it will not be until the end of the week before water levels start to drop. They blame the rainstorm on a slow-moving front that is drawing in tropical moisture from the Atlantic Ocean.
The South Carolina storm is unrelated to Hurricane Joaquin. That Category 2 storm was passing near Bermuda Sunday after pounding the Bahamas with heavy rain and powerful winds.