Receding floodwaters lead to homecoming heartbreak
As floodwaters caused by record rainfalls recede across South Carolina, residents are coming home to the heartbreaking reality of just how much they've lost.
Many have virtually nothing left after their clothes, furniture, and other possessions were claimed by the water.
And there are other signs it will be some time before life gets back to normal in the capital of Columbia: The University of South Carolina decided to move its home football game against LSU some 700 miles away to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The university says more than 80,000 fans expected for the game in Columbia would have put too much stress on weakened infrastructure.
City of Columbia officials say they're moving forward with a backup plan to protect the city's main water source after a portion of the Columbia canal collapsed, forcing workers to stop building a dam meant to plug an earlier breach.
The city said late Wednesday that it would begin installing pumps that move water directly from the canal and the nearby Broad River to the reservoir that feeds the water plant. Mayor Steve Benjamin said the pumps were already in place and expressed confidence officials will work hard to make sure the city doesn't run out of water.
The Columbia Canal was built in the early 1800s and provides 35 million gallons a day to the city's water plant, serving 375,000 customers. Record rainfall caused a breach in the canal downstream from the water plant, bringing the canal's water level to dangerously low levels.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is warning of a potential billion-dollar cleanup bill.
Meanwhile, there's still a threat of more flooding, especially downstream as the floodwaters head toward the Atlantic.
(© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)