Massive plumes of muddy, debris-filled water are pouring into the Atlantic.

The catastrophic rains that drubbed the Carolinas have ceased, but many areas are still at risk of major flooding. Why’s that? The run-off from the storms and failed dams has entered streams and rivers, creating violent, ant-filled torrents rushing for exits into the ocean.

The scale of the fluid migration is so massive it’s clear to see from a NASA satellite. This image, put out by the National Weather Service’s branch in Wilmington, North Carolina, shows rivers on Wednesday vomiting dark, sediment-filled water into the Atlantic:

@NWSWilmingtonNC

Westward, that huge, dirty smear is a current of mud and debris spreading through Lake Marion. It looks to be about 20 miles long judging from this zoomed-in view from the EOSDIS Worldview:

NASA

The lake is still flooded, to believe this shot from Columbia-based photographer Gerry Melendez. You’d need a superhuman vertical leap to rocket out of that morass:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a man surveying a home garage.
    Transportation

    How Single-Family Garages Can Ease California's Housing Crisis

    Given the affordable housing crisis, California cities should encourage single-family homeowners to convert garages into apartments and accessory dwelling units.

  2. Design

    The Many Lives of Notre-Dame

    Far from being a single author’s definitive text, the beloved cathedral’s history is a palimpsest.

  3. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  4. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  5. A tent-like pavilion with a colorful stained-glass design in a cemetery at dusk.
    Design

    The New Art Galleries: Urban Cemeteries

    With their long-dead inhabitants remembered only foggily, historic cemeteries like Mount Auburn and Green-Wood use art to connect to the living.