Some areas in flooded South Carolina facing second deluge
South Carolina's governor warned on Thursday that several coastal areas were about to be hit by a second round of major flooding, while residents inland hauled soaked furniture and appliances from homes left in ruins by unprecedented rainfall.
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Governor Nikki Haley said the inundation expected in Georgetown, home to about 9,000 people, would last up to 12 days and she urged residents to heed evacuation notices.
"Don't underestimate the power of water," she told a news conference in Summerville.
See images of the aftermath of the South Carolina floods:
Seventeen people have died after historic rains in the southeastern state, including 11 drownings and six traffic fatalities. The resulting floods caused 14 dam failures and at least $300 million in crop losses, officials said on Thursday.
Haley called the damage "tragic," with roads destroyed, homes deluged and farms left unrecognizable by the huge volume of water. Nearly two dozen caskets were disinterred by floodwaters in cemeteries, the state said.
In Charleston County, emergency management officials told residents living near the Edisto and Santee Rivers to monitor water levels as those bodies of water threatened to flood.
In Columbia, where about 11 inches (28 cm) of rain fell over the weekend, residents in a neighborhood ravaged by the first wave of flooding donned gloves and masks as they started clearing their homes of ruined possessions.
Streets in the Lake Katherine community were lined with mud-soaked mattresses, soggy tables and rolled-up carpets. Dead fish could be seen among the debris.
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Retired pilot Vince Hood and his wife Karen spent the day with hired workers and volunteers, tearing their house down to the bare floors and studs.
"This is the fourth dumpster we filled," said Vince Hood, 60. "There was seven feet (213 cm) of water outside and five (152 cm) inside. Everything's lost."
Karen Hood, 55, said she was still amazed at how fast the water rose.
"We woke up and water was bubbling up from the floors," she said. "Then the whole room started filling with water, like in a James Bond movie where you're in a tank. I was like, 'Am I able to get out of here?'"
(Reporting by Rich McKay; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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