Rains have pulled away — now, for the aftermath

Who knows what kind of soggy mess we’re going to see when day breaks tomorrow — I can imagine it’s going to be pretty bad for folks at Northwoods Mall and in the Shadowmoss subdivision. My buddy Tom called and said he had to try three different ways to get in before he could actually access his house near the golf course. He said he saw a river running through the cartway.

Well, rivers generally begin running after ridiculous storm totals like these, which just came over the wire from the National Weather Service.

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 12:48 PM EDT on October 25, 2008

The following are unofficial storm total rainfall amounts for the
last 24 hours ending at midnight EDT Saturday.

…South Carolina…
Beaufort 2 N 4.54
Beaufort mcas 3.67
Bennetts Point 4.11
Charleston Airport 6.57
downtown Charleston 5.23
Dorchester 4.96
Goose Creek 4 se 6.74
Hardeeville 7 S 3.62
Hardeeville 13 S 4.17
Huger 3 NNE 6.58
McClellanville 6.41

short stay 3.13
west Ashley 5.62
Witherbee 6.10

Here’s hoping that in the end people are minimally impacted, but tomorrow morning will provide the grim details of the aftermath of today’s record rainfall.

Midday update: The Digitel says Ashley Ave. downtown is still underwater this morning. Having lived there for several years, I’m not surprised in the slightest.


Heavy flooding in Charleston tonight

Heavy rains have inundated Charleston most of the day — mix that with a high tide enhanced by an onshore wind, and you have trouble.

This is one Friday night to stay inside. The roads are at best an inconvenience; at worst, they are potentially deadly. Floodwaters are still rising throughout the area as heavy rain continues to pound Charleston. Lots of places are underwater and threaten to become impassable this evening, including:

  • Calhoun at Ogier St, Downtown
  • Vanderhorst at Smith St, Downtown
  • Spring St. past Crosstown, before Ashley River bridges
  • Start of Highway 61 just off Ashley River bridges (West Ashley)
  • Highway 61 just north of Sam Rittenberg before Paul Cantrell Blvd. (West Ashley)
  • Highway 61 between Tobias Gadson Rd. and Magwood Rd. (West Ashley)
  • Long Point Road between 17N and Whipple Rd. (Mt. Pleasant) (thanks to Chad Norman)
  • Market, Concord, and Hazel St. Downtown (NWS)
  • Many streets in the Shadowmoss subdivision (West Ashley) (NWS)
  • Main Road and Hwy. 17 in James Island (passable) (NWS)
  • Many roads in Summerville (NWS)
  • River Road on James Island (NWS)
  • Hwy 17 and Orleans Road impassable in West Ashley (NWS)
  • Reports of cars floating in Northwoods Mall parking lot, 2 feet of water in stores (Storm Team 2)
  • All of East Bay south of Mount Pleasant Street (Ken Hawkins/The Digitel)
  • Grove & Simons at Rutledge (Downtown) (Janet Edens Conover)

Spotters in Goose Creek have measured nearly 7″ of rain since midnight at Charleston Southern University. Similar reports of over 6″ of rain in West Ashley have been recorded, and that was a couple hours ago; I suspect the area will receive upwards of 7″ to in some areas approaching 8″ of rain before this is all said and done. The College of Charleston weather station has recorded nearly 5.5″ of rain as of 10:51 PM.

Update 10:46 PM: Eugene Mah sends this blog along, complete with a photo of his backyard which has got a bit of a river going through it at the moment. Also, here’s an incredible flooding picture from ABC News 4.

Update 11:11 PM: Rob Fowler reported over Twitter that I-26 into Downtown at Cosgrove is being closed.

Update 11:32 PM: We have absolutely shattered the official rainfall record for today at the airport with 6.54″ of rain. The record, which stood for exactly a year, was like 2.32″ or something.

Update 11:34 PM: Dan Tennant tweeted this picture of him standing in his yard. Yikes!

Update 11:35 PM: “Notoriously Nice” Mike Courtney sends along this photo from his backyard in Shadowmoss. Shadowmoss is in extremely bad shape tonight — big problems on the golf course.

A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for most of the Charleston metro area until 2:15 AM. I cannot reiterate this enough, but tonight is not a good night to go out. Stay indoors and off the roads; they are deadly. If you must drive — and there aren’t a lot of places to safely do that — be very careful of floodwaters and turn around, don’t drown. You can’t tell how deep they are, especially at night.

I’ll update this list through the night. Contact me over Twitter using @chswx or send e-mail to with any flooding reports you may have — I’ll relay them over Twitter and update this list. Also watch Twitter for any video updates I may do through the evening (I’ve done one already and will likely do at least one more).


Charleston’s final words on Fay, plus two new storms

Fay, Fay, Fay. During these storm cycles I write so much about a storm that I honestly get sick and tired of the name and hope to never hear it again for another six years. (Typically, that’s the case.) While we’re writing the last chapter on Fay here in Charleston, it’ll be around our friends on the Gulf Coast for quite a while it looks like, as it treks toward a record fourth Florida landfall enroute to stalling out and continuing to dump tons and tons of rain on an area that’s had enough.

Yesterday brought the Lowcountry a tornado watch. While most of the tornadic activity was concentrated in Georgia, where there was a steady stream of warnings, there was a short-lived rotation in Hampton and Jasper counties prompting a warning. There weren’t any reports of such weather in Charleston, though.

Rain’s the story here, as it is in most other places (but certainly not to the degree that it is in Florida, where they’re getting it in feet). NWS record-keeping indicates a new record for rainfall downtown yesterday, with 2.16″ of rain. The College of Charleston weather station indicates 2.03″ of rain, most of which came down in a squall between 11am and noon.

We’re still contending with some scattered showers from Fay, but since it’s actually starting to move away a little bit, this should actually come to an end by tonight. In fact, I’ve seen some sun for the first time in a few days…it’s a nice change.

As Fay leaves Charleston, there’s two more items of interest in the Atlantic. Invest 94 has been on the radar for about a week as having potential for development, but it hasn’t gotten it together. A look at the models and its position shows that it’s going to maintain a fairly southerly track, so I don’t anticipate this one would be much of an issue for us here at home. Invest 95 may be something to watch as time goes on, at least track-wise: It’s at a latitude that seems to foreshadow some threat to the U.S. in the next couple of weeks, though there’s some significant divergence toward the end on where it’d end up. A strike against 95 is that its satellite presentation, or near-lack thereof. It’s got a little bit of convection, but the circulation is not well defined and it would have a long way to go before it became anything significant. It’s still worth peeking at every now and again, though, as conditions are generally favorable for slow growth…and it is still the peak of hurricane season, after all.



At around noon a nasty cluster of thunderstorms made landfall right on Downtown and started dropping some extremely torrential rain and even some nickel to quarter size hail, according to various storm reports. Needless to say, Downtown went right underwater. My street — what I saw of it, anyway — is flooded (and currently without power, hence why there is no weather reporting). At the corner of Coming and Morris, a manhole cover blew open as the drain failed, and an unfortunate driver got the back left wheel of his truck stuck in the hole. The water was pretty deep at that corner, as it usually is during a rain event like this.

The second round was even crazier, with reports of a waterspout between Folly and Kiawah prompting a tornado warning which was canceled a short time ago. Nuts. The second round did move through faster, though, so the amount of rain that fell was less. There have still been power interruptions, though.

It always seems that this happens when the astronomical tides are abnormally high, doesn’t it? Ugh. Here’s hoping I don’t have to do too much swimming on my way home from work.

As Per Whatever

Attention Santee River at Jamestown

When you flood, Santee River, your banks aren’t the only thing overflowing — my inbox is, too. I have like 200 messages from the National Weather Service telling me that you’re flooding and that you will continue to be doing so. I could just unsubscribe from the list, of course, but I live Downtown. I NEED that information so I am not caught by surprise when I’m trying to walk home and Ogier is under two feet of water.

Luckily it seems the river has lost a foot off last week, and will continue to fall down. This is good news for the riverbed cattle grazing, and my poor, overflowing Gmail inbox. :)

As Per Whatever

Ashley Ave. shut down

Police have just shut down Ashley Ave. I’ve got some great pictures. It appears the Calhoun and Ashley intersection is also flooding. More soon…

We’ve gotten .71″ of rain in the last hour, and that number continues to rise. High tide is in 20 minutes.

UPDATE — a flash flood warning has just been issued for Downtown and surrounding areas.

UPDATE 2 — Just got back from my swim on my street…take a look.

Underwater up to the sidewalk...I'd say probably three or four inches of standing water, easy.  It was worse Thursday.Is this seat taken?Corner of Calhoun and Ashley.Barricade fell over due to the water...

The peak rainfall was 1.18″ an hour, and that came just 20 minutes before high tide. Radar estimates that the peninsula didn’t get it as badly as Folly did, though:

Radar estimated one-hour totals.

And I leave with this note, that requires no explanation except that it is frickin’ WET out there…

"He's just a washed up one-hit wonder computer geek..."

Now to read the 2PM advisory, which is looking pretty bleak for North Carolina…


Same stuff, different day

Another day, another drencher — Ashley and Rutledge are back underwater in several places, Smith is on its way underwater, and I haven’t even gone north of Calhoun yet today.

The station is reporting just under an inch of rain collected today, about a half-inch per hour. Not nearly the torrid 2″ of rain in 20 minutes we had yesterday, but apparently still enough to put things underwater again.

Obligatory camera phone photos:

Too close to stalling out for my likingWater height in relation to bench chairsWater level, clearly over the curb...SUV plowing through Ashley


Ashley Ave. closed, cop stalls out

Charleston Police are detouring traffic at the Ashley Ave. and Bull St. intersection. Yes, it’s still flooded, and with high tide right about now, that’s not going to change.

One unlucky officer appears to have stalled out his cruiser in those floodwaters, and he and a host of other officers are currently huddling to look at the problem.

What a nutty day. Off to watch football.

Weather Weather Station

Whew. What a day.

It’s been a heck of a day. Right now, at the time of this writing, Ashley Ave. heading toward Calhoun is still flooded — not quite to the degree of earlier, but it’s still largely underwater. I may get a couple more pics before the sun goes down.

Best news of all — the station’s back operational. The submerging of the wiring seemed to cause major problems, and I’ll have to reinforce the shielding of the wires for next time.

I’m wet and cold still. My feet will never forgive me.