How will South Carolina cope as ‘extreme’ weather becomes the new norm

Sep 23, 2018

Rain-soaked skies, seas and rivers have pummeled South Carolina for four years running, causing billions of dollars of damage as raging floodwaters swamped homes, gutted businesses and crumpled bridges, roads and dams.

Responding to such emergencies has become a well-choreographed dance, with state and local officials rushing to move people from harm’s way, organize relief efforts and restore order.

But when the winds die down and the waters recede, we mostly spend our money rebuilding in the same spots where disasters have struck time and again, with little heed to the lessons learned along the way.

Scant attention is devoted to how we might avert the next catastrophe or whether we need to change the ways we function in a world where “extreme weather” no longer lives up to its name.

Climate change has caused our seas to rise and fueled ever-more powerful storms that hurl massive amounts of water from the oceans and clouds. And while much of our attention has been focused on the fragile coast, South Carolina’s inland communities have repeatedly taken a beating, as well, most recently from the trillions of gallons of water dumped by Hurricane Florence.

Read the full story at The Post and Courier here.