Saturday evening, Trevor and I were headed to a wedding, so we dropped Knox and Brody off at my mom’s house that afternoon to spend the night. Then, we went home, got ready and headed out for our date night wedding experience. I didn’t want to spend money on a new formal maternity dress that I’d wear, oh, once, so I tried out Rent the Runway for the first time. Y’all. Best invention ever. I spent $40 renting this gorgeous Badgley Mischka dress that was super bump-friendly. It was so easy, and I’ll definitely be using it again! I got tons of compliments on it, and I felt like a million bucks. We had a wonderful time celebrating the marriage of Alex and Ali, did some dancing and some (okay, a lot) of eating. It was a great night.
When we left, the rain had started. The weather people had been calling for extreme rain, but I don’t think any of us expected what happened next. I woke up on Sunday morning to a call from work, asking me to update our website and social media with some changes to our church services. Within 15 minutes, the plans changed again and we fully closed the church. I can’t remember the last time church was totally canceled- even when it snows, we still hold services, but the police urged all churches in our area to cancel worship because of how dangerous roads were. To say that “it rained” would be a huge understatement. It was raining and flooding everywhere. Dams were breaking, roads were totally covered, vehicles and homes submerged. We watched the news in complete and utter disbelief- houses were literally in water up to their rooftops in some parts of our city.
This is a before-and-after of one corner in Columbia:
Here are some more pictures of places in and around Columbia:
Our house fared very well- we live in an area with very sandy soil, so the water just kind of absorbed around us. We do have lots of ponds around, many of which threatened to overflow. Closer to church, ponds did overflow and dams burst, causing huge amounts of damage. Lake Murray had to be lowered several times, causing river levels to surge even more than they already were. Huge bridges (on main roads downtown) were overtaken by water. Cars were literally being swallowed up by the water- police and first responders urged everyone to stay home and off of the roads. My boys were still at Gigi’s house, and that’s where they stayed all day Sunday. The interstate was closed in many locations, making picking them up a logistical mess in addition to being very unsafe.
Today, the situation is still pretty unbelievable. The rain has slowed, but now it’s a matter of waiting for water levels to recede, then cleaning up a massive amount of damage. So many people lost absolutely everything. Thousands are still without power and water. Much of the Columbia area is under a boil-water advisory, if they’re lucky enough to have water at all. We’ve never experienced anything like this- they’re calling it a 1,000 year flood, meaning we don’t have records of this much rain in that amount of time. We got around 20 inches of rain in three days- to put it into perspective, if this were snow, it would be about 17 feet high. It’s that huge. I did get to go pick the boys up today- Trevor is at work and we talked together to figure out the safest route since he knew a lot more than I did about road closures and safety measures. I had no problems, though our usual 30 minute drive there took an hour because I had to take such odd routes to avoid dangerous spots and closed roads. The boys were very excited to come home. This is them when we’re about to pull out of my mom’s driveway. Brody told me he had “a itchy toe” and needed to see a picture of it immediately. I missed these silly kids, and I’m so glad they’re home.
Schools are cancelled again tomorrow because so many roads are not safe to travel. I head back to work in the morning, and Trevor will be heading back home. I’m glad that all of my boys will be under one roof again. I can’t help but feel so horrible for those that have lost so much, including family members, in this unprecedented weather. Please be praying for the people of South Carolina as these conditions continue and we look ahead to the work of rebuilding so much. We’re so blessed to be safe and sound, and I am so, so thankful.