Story highlights

Gov. Haley calls S.C. rain 'thousand-year event'

NEW: All highways closed in the capital, Columbia, which had wettest day on record Sunday

NEW: 5 deaths in S. Carolina blamed on weather

Charleston, South Carolina CNN  — 

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley didn’t mince any words Sunday about just how dangerous a situation the weather – which was blamed for five deaths in the state by Sunday night – had become in her state.

“We are at a 1,000-year level of rain,” Haley said at an afternoon news conference. “That’s how big this is.”

It wasn’t hyperbole.

Since weather records don’t go back far enough to know if it’s rained this much in South Carolina in a 1,000 years, a “thousand-year rainfall” means that the amount of rainfall in South Carolina has a 1-in-1,000 chance of happening in any given year, explained CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.

Certain areas of South Carolina had never before been deluged with such eye-popping rainfall tallies