How Xylem helped mitigate flooding during a “thousand-year storm”

In October 2015, North and South Carolina experienced record-shattering rains and flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin. Known as the “thousand-year storm,” the dramatic weather event caused a dam in Columbia, South Carolina, to break and canal water levels to plummet eight feet. Learn how Xylem’s rapid-response rental dewatering solution kept water flowing for residents of North and South Carolina during the storm.

Every moment counts when it comes to effectively mitigating the impact of severe weather events and building a community’s resilience. As a result of the lowered water levels in the canal, the city of Columbia’s main water treatment plant was no longer able to draw water for residents. The city required a rapid and dynamic emergency pumping response to replenish the holding reservoir.

Using Xylem’s large network of rental dewatering pumps

Xylem anticipated the need to remove floodwaters from communities and businesses impacted by Hurricane Joaquin, and proactively began preparations. The company strategically leveraged its network of rental hubs across the United States to transport hundreds of Godwin high-performance dewatering pumps and accessories to locations under pressure from the storm.

With these pumps already in place, Xylem was able to deliver relief to key sites within a matter of hours. Xylem engineers installed diesel pumps to transport water from the canal to Columbia’s holding reservoir. Godwin pumps were delivered to the site and began pumping on the same day the Xylem team received the call.

Flood mitigation through contingency planning and the right equipment

Effective contingency planning helped to ensure that communities in North and South Carolina could access the dewatering equipment they needed, when they needed it, to minimize emergency response time and accelerate recovery. But even with precision planning, severe weather events remain unpredictable.

When the dam in Columbia proved unstable, the Army Corps was forced to shut off all water to the canal. Within 24 hours, Xylem was able to transport and deploy additional pumps and pipeline from the state of New York to replenish the reservoir directly from the Congaree River. This rapid response kept water flowing to residents and avoided a mass evacuation of the city’s hospitals.

Learn more about how Xylem can help you mitigate flooding

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