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South Carolina hit by torrential rainfall, seven killed in flooding

carolinafloodsCHARLESTON, South Carolina--Torrential rainfall that South Carolina's governor called a once-in-a-millennium downpour flooded the southeastern U.S. state on Sunday, causing at least seven deaths in the Carolinas.
  The storm had dumped more than 18 inches (45 cm) of rain in parts of central South Carolina by early Sunday. The state climatologist forecast another 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm) through Monday as the rainfall began to slacken.
  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said parts of the state were hit with rainfall that would be expected to occur once in 1,000 years, with the Congaree River running at its highest level since 1936.
  "Our goal is all hands on deck. If you are in your house, stay in your house," Haley told a news conference. "This is not something to be out taking pictures of."
  Five weather-related deaths were reported in South Carolina, three of them from traffic accidents. Officials reported another two deaths in North Carolina.
  Overnight rains flooded highways along the South Carolina coast between Charleston and Georgetown, the National Weather Service said. Georgetown, population 9,000, was mostly under water, and the four major highways leading into it were closed.
  "We have every ambulance in the county out responding to calls. People are being moved from their homes in boats," Georgetown County spokeswoman Jackie Broach said.
  Inland flooding also hit the state capital, Columbia, where the Congaree rose 10 feet (3 m) in 12 hours, according to local officials. Columbia posted a record 8.7 inches (22 cm) of rain in 24 hours ending Sunday afternoon, the weather service said.
  State emergency officials urged residents not to travel due to unsafe roads, and curfews were imposed in several places, including Columbia. Schools and universities canceled classes on Monday. A 70-mile (112-km) stretch of Interstate 95, a major East Coast highway, was closed because of high water.

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