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Columbia Canal Breached by Congaree River Flooding in South Carolina

Columbia Canal Breached by Congaree River Flooding in South Carolina COVER ART L. ALLAN JAMES University of South Carolina This issue's cover photo is a view north up the Columbia Canal (Columbia, South Carolina) from near the Gervais Street Bridge on October 14th 2015, after it was dammed off with a rock barrier (upper right). The canal was dry due to a breach in the levee separating the canal from the Congaree River, sometime on October 4th after being over-topped by high water. Much of the local and national news coverage of the October 2015 Columbia floods focused on high water along Gills Creek, a small urban watershed on the east side of Columbia that drains into the Congaree River floodplain about five miles below the canal. Gills Creek has a large number of reservoirs and ponds, unlike many of the smaller urban watersheds that drain downtown Columbia. These water bodies usually store flood water and reduce flood peaks. The unprecedented intensity and duration of this precipitation event, however, led to dam failures and the subsequent dam-burst floods propagated downstream. At least four dams in the Gills Creek Watershed failed: Cary's, Upper Rockyford, Lower Rockyford, and Semmes Lakes. Flooding was highly destructive but could have been much worse http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southeastern Geographer University of North Carolina Press

Columbia Canal Breached by Congaree River Flooding in South Carolina

Southeastern Geographer , Volume 56 (1) – Mar 18, 2016

Columbia Canal Breached by Congaree River Flooding in South Carolina


COVER ART L. ALLAN JAMES University of South Carolina This issue's cover photo is a view north up the Columbia Canal (Columbia, South Carolina) from near the Gervais Street Bridge on October 14th 2015, after it was dammed off with a rock barrier (upper right). The canal was dry due to a breach in the levee separating the canal from the Congaree River, sometime on October 4th after being over-topped by high water. Much of the local and national news coverage of the October 2015 Columbia floods focused on high water along Gills Creek, a small urban watershed on the east side of Columbia that drains into the Congaree River floodplain about five miles below the canal. Gills Creek has a large number of reservoirs and ponds, unlike many of the smaller urban watersheds that drain downtown Columbia. These water bodies usually store flood water and reduce flood peaks. The unprecedented intensity and duration of this precipitation event, however, led to dam failures and the subsequent dam-burst floods propagated downstream. At least four dams in the Gills Creek Watershed failed: Cary's, Upper Rockyford, Lower Rockyford, and Semmes Lakes. Flooding was highly destructive but could have been much worse if the larger dams holding Forest Lake and Lake Katherine had failed. Forest Lake Dam was overtopped by swift flows across the entire length of its crest, but it held. how extreme were these precipitation and flood events? The Congaree River near Columbia streamflow gauge--1.5 km (1 mi) downstream of the Canal breach--has a very long continuous flood record. While the recent event was not a record flood on the Congaree, it was the largest in 79 years. Gills Creek streamflow probably has a very long return period, because it was not only generated by an extreme rainfall, but it was also augmented by dam-burst flows from multiple reservoirs. The peak stage was not recorded directly due to loss of the gauge at Gills Creek. Unlike streamflow, rainfall intensities were...
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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Southeastern Division, Association of American Geographers.
ISSN
1549-6929
Publisher site
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Abstract

COVER ART L. ALLAN JAMES University of South Carolina This issue's cover photo is a view north up the Columbia Canal (Columbia, South Carolina) from near the Gervais Street Bridge on October 14th 2015, after it was dammed off with a rock barrier (upper right). The canal was dry due to a breach in the levee separating the canal from the Congaree River, sometime on October 4th after being over-topped by high water. Much of the local and national news coverage of the October 2015 Columbia floods focused on high water along Gills Creek, a small urban watershed on the east side of Columbia that drains into the Congaree River floodplain about five miles below the canal. Gills Creek has a large number of reservoirs and ponds, unlike many of the smaller urban watersheds that drain downtown Columbia. These water bodies usually store flood water and reduce flood peaks. The unprecedented intensity and duration of this precipitation event, however, led to dam failures and the subsequent dam-burst floods propagated downstream. At least four dams in the Gills Creek Watershed failed: Cary's, Upper Rockyford, Lower Rockyford, and Semmes Lakes. Flooding was highly destructive but could have been much worse

Journal

Southeastern GeographerUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 18, 2016

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