The flooding in South Carolina is so bad you can see it from space

An inordinate amount of rain earlier this month from Hurricane Joaquin caused major flooding in the Carolinas, which has killed at least 17 people, some of whom drowned trying to wade through the deep water.

South Carolina in particular was hit especially hard — so hard, in fact, that the damage is visible from space.

A NASA satellite image posted to Twitter by the Wilmington, North Carolina, branch of the National Weather Service highlights dirty flood water full of debris and sediment heading for the coast:

John Metcalfe at the Atlantic’s CityLab estimates that the huge pooling of mud through Lake Marion could be about 20 miles long.

As of Wednesday, officials told residents in Columbia, South Carolina, to head for higher ground because the Beaver Dam at Pebble Creek was “about to break,” which would have sent millions of gallons of water flooding through the town, according to the Weather Channel.

The dam has since been secured, but tens of thousands of residents are still without clean water.

NOW WATCH: Aerial footage shows the true devastation of South Carolina flooding

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