SC

“Columbia, We Have A Problem”

LIES, DAM LIES AND WATER STATISTICS …  In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a major problem with the City of Columbia, S.C.’s dilapidated water system. Specifically, we’re referring to the breach of the Columbia Canal dam that occurred during “Floodmaggedon,” the record deluge and accompanying storm surge that dumped trillions…

LIES, DAM LIES AND WATER STATISTICS … 

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a major problem with the City of Columbia, S.C.’s dilapidated water system.

Specifically, we’re referring to the breach of the Columbia Canal dam that occurred during “Floodmaggedon,” the record deluge and accompanying storm surge that dumped trillions of gallons of water on the Palmetto State this week.

For this website’s latest report on the city’s colossal (and ongoing) pooch screw related to this dam breach, click here.

Why does the Columbia Canal matter?  Because it’s the primary water source for hundreds of thousands of Midlands, S.C. residents – most of whom remain under a boil water advisory nearly a week after the storm.

Meanwhile virtually ever government agency in the state capital has been shut down in an effort to minimize the city’s water usage.  Additionally the University of South Carolina closed for the week to help lessen the load – and even moved its football game scheduled for this weekend halfway across the country.  Taking no chances, local hospitals are already preparing for emergency evacuations in the event the water issue is not resolved.

It’s serious, in other words … even though city government (and the local mainstream media) have gone out of their way to minimize the negative publicity.

According to our sources, the problem has now become even further complicated due to a lack of coordination between governments.

Imagine that, right?

Specifically, we’re told National Guardsmen are almost done erecting a coffer dam upstream of the breached canal – hoping to cut off the water flow and contain the canal’s headwaters.  This is different than the boulder dam the city attempted to build further downstream.

Why?  They’re hoping to quickly assess and complete the repair job the City of Columbia has failed to do over the last five days.

The only problem?  Once this dam is in place, the city’s water supply will be effectively cut off – which is why the city has been desperately scrambling to position emergency pumps in the Broad River, enabling it to draw directly from the river.

Not surprisingly, the Corps is expected to finish its dam well in advance of the city positioning all of its emergency pumps – meaning the city’s water problems are about to get worse.

“Columbia – we have a problem,” one veteran engineer told FITS.

Columbia mayor Steve Benjamin said earlier this week that the city was pumping 38 million gallons on Thursday – which was down from 48 million gallons the previous day.  That’s not accurate, though.  According to our sources, the city is only pumping an estimated 16 to 18 million gallons – less than half what Benjamin estimated.

Where’s the rest coming from?  A city reservoir – one that we’re told has dropped seven feet in the last 24 hours.

Yikes …

Assuming these immediate issues can be successfully navigated, long-term problems persist.  As we noted in our last report, several key questions linger.  Among them: What level of reduced capacity are city officials envisioning moving forward?  For how long is the system going to be operating below full output? And how does this reduced capacity impact a city struggling to get back on its feet?

Those answers are nowhere to be found …

Look, we’re not trying to be alarmists – we’re simply reporting what we’ve been told by reliable sources in an effort to inform the public of what’s really happening while holding government(s) accountable for their actions.

Hopefully everything gets sorted out, but it’s clear the Columbia water situation remains far less certain than city leaders are willing to admit.

UPDATE: As of 3:30 p.m. EDT, as this article was going to press, sources tell FITS construction on the dam has been suspended in order to give the city more time to get its pumps in place.  Guardsmen were reportedly told to “stand down” from their posts.  Yeah … what a mess.

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99 comments

Ambulance Chaser Inc. October 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Which Law firm is paying your sorry ass to find a target to sue?

Reply
Paging Mr. Bingham October 9, 2015 at 3:55 pm

I can think of one that isn’t.

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hooka shoes October 9, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Well, the Gibson Pond breach is responsible for a lot of damage and it is owned by the town of Lexington. Imagine the millions which be sued for.

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Jackie Chiles October 9, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Engineering firm they hired more like it.

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Just Me October 11, 2015 at 6:52 pm

I read that the Gibson pond breach started with Barr lake breaching it’s dam. It will be an interesting next couple of years. And as usual the only ones winning will be the ambulance chasers…. er … ah….lawyers.

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A Little Birdie Told Me October 9, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Wait until you read WHY the canal dike was overtopped and failed.

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stumpknocker October 9, 2015 at 3:34 pm

call me a conspiracy nut but i’m going to say rain

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Soft Sigh from Hell October 9, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Has it never rained hard before? I’ve seen the Congaree within 2-feet of this flood height within the past decade or so. I wonder what the big difference was this time?

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stumpknocker October 9, 2015 at 3:46 pm

the canal is fed by the broad, i was just making a joke, i don’t near enough information for even a guess other than alot of rain.

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Liberals laughable, disgusting October 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Hmmm…maybe a 1,000-year Flood.,..you ignorant Liberal FUCK…

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Jackie Chiles October 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Is it really a 1,000 year flood though?

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Since You're Asking October 9, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Is GrandTango really worth responding to?

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Soft Sigh from Hell October 9, 2015 at 3:41 pm

The 1908 flood was higher, dimwit. 1000-year flood, hogwash. 1000-year rainfall, maybe. What a dolt.

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Jackie Chiles October 9, 2015 at 3:44 pm

False. The Kiwanah Indians reported an increase of “3 arrow sticks” in the “big water flow” and multiple “tree spirits” falling back in 1015 A.D. I’m pretty sure Haley definitely knew what she was talking about when she called it a 1,000 year flood.

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Sikh Law October 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Well Haley is an Indian so she should know. Perhaps her Sikh god told her as well.

you know me October 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Maybe her wacko sister, Simran, can connect with the universe and talk some sense into them. Simran, please tell us what your tarroh cards are saying.

Simran October 9, 2015 at 11:49 pm

Columbia, you are fucked!

easterndumbfuckistan October 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

The national weather service said it’s a 1,000 year event. I assume that’s where Nikki got her information from. There are pretty good statistics behind calculating the likelihood of these events. Technically a 1,000 year event means there is a .1% chance of an event of that magnitude occurring each year. It’s doesn’t mean they occur at precisely 1000 year intervals but over hundreds of thousands of years it would work out to an average of one per thousand years. There’s nothing stopping one from occurring next weekend, though it’s not likely it’s just as possible as the one that occurred last weekend.

History Re-write experts October 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Dumbass liberals…you can only be right if you can dredge up history…and claim you have an idea of WTF you’re talking about…despite the fact you’re WRONG about any, and everything…present day.

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Rocky Verdad October 9, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Who wants water out of the Broad River anyway. In respectable towns they have lift stations, that take water from wells.

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9" October 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm

It’s called Aquafina,or it was…

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easterndumbfuckistan October 9, 2015 at 7:12 pm

Almost every large city pull water from lakes and rivers. You can’t effectively supply 30 to 80 MGPD using wells in that manner.

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BrigidBernadette October 9, 2015 at 4:24 pm

If you are going to go around posting this, then tell us! If not, then STFU. We are all under a lot of anxiety, so either put up or shut up.

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Who Let The Water Out October 10, 2015 at 11:14 am

Take a Xanax. I personally look forward to all the finger pointing and argumentation and enjoy these hints (threats) of things to come. It is pretty much a mainstay here, but usually involves corruption rather than negligence.

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stumpknocker October 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm

yeah yeah yeah, bullshit, the corps of engineers is not going to cut off our water supply because they can’t wait for the pumps

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Superfly October 9, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Looks like you neglected to mention that the interconnection between Columbia’s and the Cayce’s water system has been opened providing water, and that West Columbia is providing water to Columbia.

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Soft Sigh from Hell October 9, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Columbia has an interconnected plant on Lake Murray too.

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The Colonel October 9, 2015 at 10:12 pm

The interconnected systems can only supply a finite amount of water to only a portion of the city.

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Col.Flagg October 9, 2015 at 10:37 pm

No wonder Columbia is apparently fucked with the Michael ‘DuCockus Bro’s’, you and Bible Thumper, spewing this never ending ship of sewage.

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snickering October 10, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Language Please. Have you given input to City on all this? I thought not. You prefer to sit in a lounge chair and watch TV and criticize everything and everyone while your Butt and mouth just get bigger.

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Superfly October 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm

8 Million Gallons per day, between Cayce and West Columbia. MayorT-Bone Shitwater needs much more, but 8 MGD is nothing to sneeze at.

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The Colonel October 11, 2015 at 5:54 pm

On a normal day, the city uses in excess of 80 million gallons a day (85-89 MGD depending on who you believe)

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Superfly October 12, 2015 at 9:19 am

Ok, 10% is not an insignificant number either. I was referencing the product at the canal plant, not from all other sources, such as the Lake Murray plant, other wells spread around the vast Columbia system.

Big Bird Told Me October 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm

South Carolina Drought Response Committee reduces drought classification to “MILD.”

Reply
Bible Thumper October 9, 2015 at 3:57 pm

5 to 4 vote?

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Bible Thumper October 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm

But does fits report the good news? Noooh!

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afmajret October 10, 2015 at 9:18 pm

That’s really stretching for a silver lining to this goat rope!

Reply
Squishy123 October 9, 2015 at 3:57 pm

So those uppity niggras on television are lying to us?

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YouWontPostThis October 9, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Where exactly is this “headwaters dam” being built? If it’s the boulder dam just above the breach, that’s hundreds of yards downstream of the city’s intakes, you (again) bumbling moron.

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Soft Sigh from Hell October 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm

It sounds like it could be just above the lock and gates at the upper end.

But who knows? Needs more precise wording.

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YouWontPostThis October 9, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Precise Wording? Fits? Nah. Just another J-school dropout who took Intro to Engineering and tries to hold his own in technical/industrial reporting, while in the meantime just coming across as a pathetic has-been.

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CNSYD October 9, 2015 at 4:23 pm

AMEN!!!

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Glaad you're on the case October 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Wow: I feel secure, now, with you engineering experts addressing the specifics…LMAO…

Reply
Soft Sigh from Hell October 9, 2015 at 4:25 pm

This doofus thinks the concept “upstream” is in the exclusive realm of engineering?

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Will Folks aka Sic October 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm

This is a cofferdam ABOVE the city intakes. The boulder dam is downstream – and didn’t work.

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CNSYD October 9, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Boulder Dam is commonly called Hoover Dam. It is working fine as far as I know.

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Squishy123 October 9, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Are they piping water in from Nevada now?

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easterndumbfuckistan October 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm

I know they are trucking it in from Kershaw County and other places. There have been multiple 8000 gallon tanker trucks filling up at the Fire Hydrant at Elgin Town Hall as most constantly since Monday afternoon.

The Colonel October 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm

They ain’t got no water to spare.

easterndumbfuckistan October 9, 2015 at 5:06 pm

The damn is being built upstream of the intakes at the diversion dam between that take the river water and moves it in to the canal. If you drive over the I-20 bridge on the Broad River you can see it from there.

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idcydm October 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm

In 1993 when the Missouri and Mississippi rivers flooded the city of Des Moines Iowa was with out running water for two week and drinking water for a month.

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Asstounded October 9, 2015 at 10:18 pm

The City government could have spent water and sewer fees on infrastructure instead of anything but, and then on a private lawyer to sue “us” (rate payers) for more. Our citizens are collectively too stupid to boil water for long. Expect them to get sick. Blame is appropriate. We have no water. How about tar and feathers

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idcydm October 10, 2015 at 8:44 am

I don’t disagree that Local, City, State and Federal governments spend on anything but…that is not why you don’t have water. You don’t have water because there was a major flood that breached man made levies and dams.

My question to you, how stupid is it to live in a City that you think the citizens are collectively stupid? Keep blaming it’s easier than action but doesn’t accomplish much.

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Asstounded October 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

Happily, I live in Cayce. We have water, and are now splitting it with Columbia. We pay public sector planners to avoid strategic infrastructure inadequacies like Columbia’s. Why blame God for failed self serving people on the public payroll?

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idcydm October 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

I didn’t blame God.

Why did you lie, “Our citizens are collectively too stupid to boil water for long”…”We have no water.”…you live in Cayce.

Asstounded October 10, 2015 at 9:37 am

Our indicates State Wide.

idcydm October 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

Really, “The City government could have spent water and sewer fees on infrastructure instead of anything but, and then on a private lawyer to sue “us” (rate payers) for more.”… *us*…is water being boiled state wide, no it’s not. You lied.

eColi October 10, 2015 at 10:55 am

“failed self serving people on the public payroll”

Ahh, you’ve met DHEC water “officials”.

GoBackToSleep October 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

You must be GOP. Hate holding those responsible accountable much?!?

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idcydm October 10, 2015 at 10:27 am

“Hate”…what I hate are those that lie and make themselves out to be victims when there are people out there that are suffering. Not to mention people that make everything political.

Asstounded October 11, 2015 at 8:56 am

You write like Big Fetus. Are you Big Fetus? If you are, you didn’t Cut Your Cord like I asked… Do It now. Thanks.

Rosa Sparks October 11, 2015 at 12:21 am

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Jerry Huang October 12, 2015 at 8:18 am

my collaborator’s stride mother makes $97/hr on the web…….…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning $18,512,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h….Learn More right Here.
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Reply
Bible Thumper October 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm

The government gets it right sometimes. Imagine if they hadn’t stopped “Green Diamond” development.
http://www.free-times.com/news/what-if-green-diamond-had-been-built-100715

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shifty henry October 9, 2015 at 4:51 pm

even a blind pig….

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Fecal Matters October 11, 2015 at 9:15 pm

Not surprising that Free Times would omit Benjamin’s involvement in Green Diamond.

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The Byrds October 9, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Who owns the canal and dike? Who, if different, is responsible for their management, maintenance, and operation? This is bound to be looked at under a microscope and be argued out loud by the innocent and guilty alike. And there WILL be accusations of guilt.

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easterndumbfuckistan October 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

SCE&G owns the canal. I don’t know if they own the canal works and the dam or not. It was built in 1824 so, it’s conceivable that no one owns it anymore, if that’s the case being that it’s part of the navigable waterway it would belong to the State of SC.

Reply
The Byrds October 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

The upper canal and structures were finished about 1895 according to the sign displayed there. About the same as the mill and the small power plant. I’ll bet they still have declared owners.

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Taxes fund mismanagement October 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm

I’m on a well suckers! It must suck to be on city shitwater.

Reply
eColi October 10, 2015 at 10:56 am

How about when the power is out? City water still flows.

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Taxes fund mismanagement October 10, 2015 at 9:54 pm

Generator bitches!

Reply
The Byrds October 10, 2015 at 11:38 am

Does the dissolved trichloroethylene and nitrate make the well water taste better?

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Taxes fund mismanagement October 10, 2015 at 9:59 pm

I wouldn’t know, my water tests are awesome. I probably test it more than the City of Columbia tests theirs and part of my yearly checkup/well maintenance.

In the mean time my friends in Columbia get yearly notice that yet more Federal metrics haven’t been met by the city water department. It seems like the list gets worse every year for them- some of them drink bottled water as a result and only use city water to shit/shave/shower.

The funny this is, the “boil water” adversary hasn’t changed anything for them.

Reply
BrigidBernadette October 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm

By the way, they better move their asses, there is a 90% chance of thunderstorms tomorrow with 1 inch rain expected.

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CNSYD October 9, 2015 at 4:30 pm

“Look, we’re not trying to be alarmists” Those words came out of the “mind” of Will Folks? Wonders will never cease.

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A Little Birdie Told Me October 9, 2015 at 4:32 pm

“It was just too much rain! A 1000-year flood!!* [*repeat thrice] An act of God. There was no way to prevent the dike failure” — What you can bet your bottom dollar will be, and indeed already is, the cry of the negligent and those above.

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Jackie Chiles October 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Prepare for this line to be trotted out: “Good thing we DIDN’T spend all that money on roads before 2015 because then those nice new roads woulda just been ruined anyways and we’d be re-spending the money all over again.”

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Rocky Verdad October 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Expect the additional iine from the Feds – we’ll only pay replacement on the depreciated and crap roads you had, not replacement with modern upgraded roads.

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Hierarchy of needs October 9, 2015 at 4:47 pm

As much many of us get tired of your “core functions” diatribe, I would certainly agree that govt ought to take care of basic needs before proceeding to step 2, etcetera.

Columbia at this point is like a yogi on a hunger strike – off somewhere having a baseball hallucination (single A minor league baseball!) while the rest of the world eats steak.

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Kill The Messenger October 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Put things in perspective:
South Carolina Flooding is Sixth ‘1,000 Year Rainfall’ in the U.S. Since 2010
http://observer.com/2015/10/south-carolina-flooding-is-sixth-1000-year-rainfall-in-the-u-s-since-2010/

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easterndumbfuckistan October 9, 2015 at 5:08 pm

A 1000 year event is particular to one place. In a country as large as the United States you will average at least 1 per year. This isn’t uncommon or unexpected. Stop scaremongering.

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R Brian McCarty October 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm

No one knows that this is a 1000 year event. It is a guess at best since we have only had reliable records for around a hundred years. We have only had the current dams for real estate development for about 50 years. But, let melodrama continue in the wake of real issues. Better to blame God than sorry government regulation of dams and other infrastructure. SMH

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easterndumbfuckistan October 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm

The statistics behind calculating what the chance of an event is are pretty solid. The public terminology is a 1000 year event, technically there is a .1% chance of it happening in any given year. There is nothing preventing there from being multiple 1000 thousand year events in a row, but over the long term (several hundred thousand years) the statistics would work out to once ever 1000 years.

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City of Columbia Sucks October 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

This would be funny if it wasn’t a serious problem. City of Columbia is run by a bunch of incompetent idiots. You people get exactly what you deserve. I would be embarrassed to stand on the same stage with this funky bunch (clowns) during their press release. How embarrassing!!

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jimlewisowb October 9, 2015 at 7:25 pm

I don’t see a problem here

If it is more pumpers that is needed, then just ask King T-Bone to place a call to some of his acquaintances

Word down at the Git’nGo is that he knows a lot of pumpers and a fair number of them can do it by hand if their thighs get tired

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Daryl October 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Not one Richland Lawmaker has showed up during the press conferences. ..wonder why……its because they dont want to explain all the cuts to roads and infrastructure. Nikki Haley is a total failure

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Daryl October 9, 2015 at 9:03 pm

News Flash. Boil water advisory for the next two years due to Capital Shitwater and Roads that kill.

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Asstounded October 9, 2015 at 9:20 pm

As I’ve said elsewhere, all this time we were afraid Mayor Shitwater would give us Detroit. We got Haiti. And it looks like we’ll be Haiti for a while.
Remember all that cash he spent sueing us to get to use our water and sewer fees for other things? Hope you enjoyed your ice skating on Main Street for a few weeks last winter, rather than your “potable” tap water today. After all, the Mayor has his priorities, right? Suckers?

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Art Stinkwater October 9, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Maybe the Ds who ran the City should not have stolen money unlawfully from water system revenues for years to fuel their wasteful spending habits and shameless vote buying while ignoring infrastructure needs. Who will hold these assholes accountable? City of Columbia voters? Not bloody likely…

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eColi October 10, 2015 at 10:58 am

“Who will hold these assholes accountable?”

When has a government official in SC ever truly been held accountable for a screw up?

Reply
Barn Door October 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Just watch, the DHEC dam “safety” program will get an award for their flurry of too-late after-the-flood inspections.

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Rocky Verdad October 10, 2015 at 8:04 am

We need Bobby Boudroux – The Water Boy. Some quality H2O.

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Wonderer October 10, 2015 at 10:16 am

Just out of curiosity, are they using the old Eau Claire water plant to help out (located above the old drive-in movie off River Drive)?

It may not still be operable, but it helped out in the late 50s/early 60s when something went wrong with the main water system.

Reply
The Byrds October 10, 2015 at 11:06 am

Interesting. I had no idea it was there. Before my time.

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Louie Bouy October 11, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Drill a well, buy a generator, build an ark, don’t depend on the government!

Reply
Barn Door October 11, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Be careful though, you know who (starts with “D”) has allowed or ignored an awful lot of contamination of ground water aquifiers.

Reply
Jerry Huang October 12, 2015 at 8:18 am

my collaborator’s stride mother makes $97/hr on the web…….…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning $18,512,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h….Learn More right Here.
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Reply
visa October 12, 2015 at 11:25 am

All these idiots do in their press conferences is pat each other on their backs.

Reply

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