City of Charleston urges evacuations due to threat of significant flooding, storm surge


Waves crash in front of an American flag that is planted on a jetty during a high surf from the Atlantic Ocean, in advance of the potential arrival of Hurricane Dorian, in Vero Beach, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and city officials urged citizens to heed evacuation orders on Tuesday due to Hurricane Dorian’s potential impact to the coast, including flooding and inundation from storm surge.

“This is a serious storm still and the triple threat of storm surge, high tide, and copious rain could produce flooding in the City of Charleston and coastal South Carolina. There is no question about it,” said Mayor Tecklenburg. “If you live in a residence that has flooded over the last four years – between the 2015 storm, Matthew, Irma, you should evacuate your residence and go to higher ground.”

Mayor Tecklenburg said he visited the Town of James Island Tuesday morning where there is a joint-venture sandbag operation between the City of Charleston and James Island and praised the “remarkable collaboration” between the town and city.

“That kind of thing is happening all over the place and we are very proud of that,” he said.

Chief Luther Reynolds said the city of working to keep the community and residents safe and again urged evacuations. “This is not the time to relax, this is the time to continue to be vigilant.”

He said emergency officials continue to look at the safety of all residents in all communities. “Tomorrow night, there is a tide predicted at 10-feet and that is a very high tide – that means significant flooding, significant road closures and potentially means rescues,” he said.

Chief Reynolds went on to say: “We cannot have people’s cars stranded in the middle of roadways. We want to do everything to get ahead of that flooding and to work closely with communities.”

WCBD meteorologist Josh Marthers said based off the latest forecast, we could see 4-7 feet of storm surge is possible along low lying areas that are susceptible to storm surge flooding.

The second part will be very heavy rainfall. Marthers said it is possible to see 6-to-10 inches of rainfall along and east of Highway 17.

West of 17 and farther south and west that goes to as little as 4-to-6 inches and may even be less west of I-95.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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