With an 8.7-foot tide forecast for Sunday morning—potentially the third highest non-tropical high tide since 1934—City of Charleston emergency management officials urge residents and visitors to prepare for major tidal flooding. The National Weather Service is forecasting high tides at and well above 8.0 feet into the weekend and through Monday morning’s predicted 8.5’ high tide.
Motorists should plan their travel and avoid driving in areas prone to tidal flooding around the time of high tide. Cars can stall from driving or parking in flooded areas.
Saturday’s high tides occur at 10:07 a.m. and 10:23 p.m. High tides on Sunday come at 11:01 a.m. and 11:15 p.m. Monday morning’s high tide is at 11:57 a.m. Flooding can occur 1-2 hours before and after the peak of high tide. Fortunately, the chance of rain is low this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
The extreme flooding could make more roads impassable than usual, strand motorists and stall cars, delay emergency services, and affect some properties.
City police are monitoring conditions and will work with city Traffic and Transportation to manage road closures and re-openings as conditions warrant.
The City of Charleston will open the following garages to City residents, free of charge, beginning at 4 pm on Saturday, September 19th:
- Aquarium Garage – 24 Calhoun Street
- Concord / Cumberland – 1 Cumberland Street
- Queen Street – 93 Queen Street
- Visitor Center – 63 Mary Street
- 99 West Edge – 99 West Edge Street
All cars must be removed from the garages by 4 p.m., Monday, September 21st. Anyone who uses the garages must follow the following process:
- Vehicles need to be removed by designated time to be eligible for free parking.
- Pull a ticket upon entering
- When leaving – Press the black “assistance” button on the upper right hand side of the call box. An attendant will respond to assist you.
- State you were parking to avoid the flooding.
- Provide your name and address when requested.
- Insert your ticket into the machine (if you have not already done so)
- Attendant will raise the gate for you to exit
No boats, trailers or golf carts are allowed.
"Through the weekend and into Monday, we urge motorists to plan their travel away from areas that flood and avoid placing themselves and their cars in a precarious situation," said city Emergency Director Shannon Scaff. "Neighborhoods in flood-prone areas also should prepare for tidal flooding."
Emergency management officials will remain in close communication with the National Weather Service and ask citizens to monitor local media for weather-related news and updates throughout the weekend.