Charleston breaks monthly rainfall record, on track to have wettest year

Flooding on the Crosstown near Bogard Street slowed cars to a crawl on Monday morning. (Prentiss Findlay/staff)

For the second month in a row, rainfall in Charleston has broken the record for wettest month and the area is on track to have the wettest year in history, according to the National Weather Service.

As of 9:45 a.m., 7.62 inches of rain has been recorded for the month of November, beating the 1972 record of 7.35 inches, according to meteorologist Carl Barnes. The numbers are preliminary.

This year so far has been Charleston’s fourth wettest in history, with 71.07 inches recorded, but with up to an inch more of rain expected, it could move to second place by the end of the day. The wettest year recorded was in 1964 at 72.99 inches and there is a current tie for second place from 1958 and 1973 with 72.17 inches, Barnes said.

There is a current lull in the rainfall today, but more showers are expected throughout the day.

Flooding started getting bad after high tide this morning, according Barnes. At 9:45 a.m., 1.72 inches of rain had been recorded for the day and an additional inch of rain was forecast between 8 and 10 a.m.

The city opened its Visitor Center and Aquarium garages Sunday night through 8 a.m. Tuesday to any residents with concerns about flooding. They can park in the garages free of charge.

The National Weather Service in Charleston has issued a flash flood watch across Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties through 7 p.m.

Rainfall Monday is expected to reach two to three inches, with higher amounts possible closer to the coast, according to the Weather Service. Flooding could occur quickly, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas.

There will be a dry period this afternoon, according to Barnes, with light to moderate showers possible, but more rain is in the forecast this evening. The chances for rain decrease overnight and should diminish completely by midday Tuesday, Barnes said.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.

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