The report presents the field observations the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association team made during the field reconnaissance from October 11 to 14, 2015 in South Carolina's Richland and Lexington Counties. The team from GEER, supported by the National Science Foundation, was mobilized to investigate the impacts of the flooding in South Carolina. The collaboration included the Georgia Institute of Technology; Clemson University; the Division of Dam Safety and Inspections, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); and Geosyntec Consultants.
Offshore category 4 Hurricane Joaquin resulted in record-shattering rains and flooding across South Carolina. Several areas of South Carolina saw precipitation accumulations exceeding the threshold for a 1-in- 1,000-year event from October 1 to 5, 2015. The subsequent floods caused inundations throughout the state with areas around Charleston and Columbia hardest-hit and killed 19 people. The damage in South Carolina alone is estimated at $12 billion. In total 52 dams are known to have failed in the historic flooding event. The GEER team visited a dozen dams within a week of the event.