Even though tropical storm Chantal has fizzled out, the Lowcountry is still in for a wet weekend.
Although this July has been on par with normal summer rainfall, the year’s rainfall totals to date have skyrocketed above the average:
This July: 2.55 inches of rain
Normal month to date: 2.52 inches of rain.
2013 to date: 39.31 inches of rainfall.
Normal year to date: 24.48 inches of rainfall
(This year has seen an almost 60 percent increase in precipitation.)
Totals as of 5 p.m. Friday, National Weather Service, Charleston
“As we get into (Saturday), that moisture is likely to track back onshore,” said Julie Packett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston. “(Saturday) looks like it’s going to be a very moist day.”
Packett said the highest potential for heavy showers and thunderstorms is Saturday evening.
“We could have 2-3 inches of additional rainfall over the next 48 hours,” Packett said.
The Santee River, Packett said, was expected to be at moderate flooding in the next three days.
“People along the river could easily be affected,” she said.
Georgetown Emergency Management Division manager Sam Hodge said the division is reporting “nothing out of the ordinary in the area” regarding flood damage. The weekend’s storms may have an effect on the area already facing minor flooding.
“It depends on the amount of rainfall we get,” Hodge said.
Santee Cooper officials announced Friday morning that the flood gates would be lifted to 6 feet and release 225,000 gallons per second. The utility’s gates were raised from 4 feet and 150,000 gallons per second due to recent heavy rains.
Santee Cooper spokeswoman Mollie Gore said she hadn’t heard any complaints from homeowners or residents downstream, as the main affected area is in the flood plain. Gore said one big thing to monitor over the weekend will be the amount of rain in the Upstate. The watershed there feeds into the Santee.
“It’s obviously something that we are keeping an eye on,” she said.
Berkeley County is still investigating the sewer overflow from July 5 that affected Goose Creek near North Rhett Avenue and Henry Brown Boulevard, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Jim Beasley said Friday.
“It’s still posted as a result of the overflow,” he said.
With an eye to the weekend, Beasley expressed concern that the rain will continue to compound these environmental issues.
“The amount of rain we’re seeing is definitely having an effect on the local environment,” he said.
Folly Beach started to face flooding Friday around 2:30 p.m., a situation comparable to the Crosstown at high tide, Mayor Tim Goodwin said.
“I’ve never seen it flood everywhere this fast,” he said.
At the Sand Dollar Social Club on the island, a board was up at the front door to protect the building from incoming rain.
Reach Nick Watson at 937-4810.