The flooding in South Carolina is a definite calamity. But was it a 1,000 year event?
The media sure had us believing that. But who was keeping records in South Carolina in 1015? Or 1415?
Or 1908? Ah, that’s when we have record of a flood that was nine feet higher.
Dr. Roy Spencer alerted us to the story.
There is no question that the flooding in South Carolina is exceptional, even historic.
But a once on 1,000 year event? Sorry, but there is no way to determine that…there are simply not enough rainfall statistics over a long enough period of time to establish such a claim.
But we do have information on previous floods over the last 100 years or so. So, let’s look at how the current event compares.
The greatest multi-day rainfall reported on the CoCoRaHS cooperative rainfall monitoring website was 27 inches in Columbia, SC. The Congaree River crested at 31 ft. there on Sunday
Now, for comparison, take a look at a bridge over the Congaree River during the record flood of 1908, when the river crested at 40 ft…about 9 ft. higher than the current flood event: