The Great Flood of Charleston SC, USA

Discussion in 'Nature' started by dalethorn, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    These are at high tide - a wetland adjacent to the Cooper River just 3/4 mile from where the river empties into the ocean out of Charleston Harbor. The first image is with the Leica D-Lux, taken Saturday around 13:30, with an extremely gloomy sky. It looks like the camera focused on the near foliage, but the focus was further out and I think it looks like it does because of the dullness and the rain that was in the air. The second image is with the Leica Q, taken Sunday around 14:30, with a much less gloomy sky. The advantage in resolution is partly the 24 -vs- 12 mp advantage of the Q, and partly due to much better light today (note the 1/125 and 1/1250 shutter speeds).

    For nearly 3 days, a so-called low-pressure cell existed over South Carolina, almost exactly the height of the state, and a few hundred miles in width. This low-pressure cell was sucking in vast amounts of moisture from the hurricane moving slowly Northeast, and we didn't just set new records for rainfall - the new records are double the old records in many places. Charleston is well-acquainted with flooding, and somewhat prepared for emergencies, but the extreme deluge was well beyond expectations. Worse off yet are inland areas not accustomed to a lot of flooding, and with the low-pressure cell still active and moving slowly North, other areas of the state are on emergency curfews to keep people off the streets.

    Leica D-Lux, f5.6, 1/125 handheld, ISO 200.

    Leica Q, f5.6, 1/1250 handheld, ISO 200.
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  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I hope you and all are safe from this flood. I know Charleston is used to them, but this one has been stated to be the worst in 1000 years.
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  3. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Thanks - a most unusual situation that nobody expected.
  4. Mijo

    Mijo Leica Place Veteran

    Apr 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    Thanks for posting these pictures, images posted on the local news don't do the situation justice. Stay safe...
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  5. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Here's something to ponder - I can't explain this, but (screen capture from WeatherBug) this whole pattern of rain and storm is rotating counter-clockwise, which you can see in last-hour animations on WeatherBug. The hurricane, also rotating counter-clockwise, is 2-3 hundred miles East, over the Atlantic ocean.

  6. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 1, 2013
    Hoping for the best for everyone there, Dale.

    Be careful when getting out for pics in such. I got myself stuck after getting some late night shots in a snow storm up here. No one would come out from AAA to pull me out. Was thinking I'd have to spend the night in the car, but later a kindly plow driver pulled me out. (Only to get stuck again near my house!)

    I wouldn't want to hear of the waters rising and cutting you off.

    Looking at details of the pics, I notice the two guys standing in the small boat for the Leica Q shot. Wonder what they where up to, I hope just checking things out.

    Surprising how well the Leica DLux image holds up in comparison. Doesn't match the Q but not too far off, either...
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  7. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Thanks - the D-Lux would have been much closer to the Q image if shot the next day, with better light and no water in the air. The guys in the little boat are taking advantage of fish or crustaceans etc. that move into the marsh and get stuck or lost, but the only fishing people I talk to do their fishing from the pier, so I'm not sure about what goes on in the marshes. Above the pier is the Ravenel bridge, which hosts a jumper every few weeks on average. Just last week the Coast Guard was cruising through the marshes at high tide looking for the latest jumper. Because the adjacent river flows fairly fast, they almost never recover a body right away.

    Edit: I lived in NE Ohio for 30 years, and drove a VW Beetle (original series) during that time. So with 15-inch wheels I never had a problem starting the car down to -20F, or driving through most snow, but driving with one hand and scraping ice with the other was very annoying.

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    Aug 19, 2013
    I just saw some the news. Hope you were not affected by the flooding. It is sad to see so much devastation.
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  9. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Oddly enough, the police opened the main bridges to Charleston today, and I drove into the main district between Meeting and King streets E/W, between Calhoun and Broad N/S, and saw nary a puddle. So apparently there are pockets of lower areas that get flooded first, and those are the last to clear up.

    The interesting thing is the (supposedly) ultra-rare once-in-3-centuries conflation of a large low-pressure area with the nearby hurricane, drawing in prodigious amounts of water and wet air. If it stays rare, we should be good. But if climate change makes such a thing more common, that could be trouble.