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Bouts of heavy rainfall to douse Lowcountry through Sept. 22, could lead to flash flooding

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Torrents of heavy rain and tidal flooding are expected to hit the Lowcountry this week, potentially bringing nuisance flash flooding to low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service’s Charleston office issued a coastal flood advisory for Charleston and Colleton counties through the evening of Sept. 21 as widespread showers crawled over much of the state's southern tip on Sept. 20. The weather service also issued a flash flood watch through the morning of Sept. 21. 

Precipitation forecast 9/20

Charleston County could see as much as 4 inches of rain through Sept. 21, 2021. National Weather Service/Provided

Just over 2.5 inches of rain had fallen in West Ashley by 6 p.m., and about 2.8 inches had fallen in Mount Pleasant, according to the weather service. Summerville also received about 2.8 inches in rain. About 1.5 inches hit North Charleston and downtown Charleston received less than an inch. 

The Lowcountry was expected to see 2 to 4 inches of rain on Sept. 21, with some areas seeing higher amounts, according to the weather service. The combination of elevated high tides and the ongoing showers would create minor flooding, mainly in urban and coastal areas.

Blair Holloway, a weather service meteorologist, said heavy rain had been forecast to hit the tri-county area through the afternoon of Sept. 22. After that, the Lowcountry is forecast to have a dry latter half of the week, he said. 

"Given how wet Charleston's been today, we will continue to see the potential for flooding until Wednesday," he said. "Minor flooding looks very likely. We could have significant flash flooding depending on how the rain hits."

In downtown Charleston, a potential overlap of heavy rain with some coastal flooding could result in an enhanced flooding risk. Coastal areas, such as Kiawah and Seabrook islands, were expected to experience flooding, according to the weather service. 

The heavy rain is a result of a wet weather pattern, which developed early Sept. 20 off the coasts of Beaufort, Colleton and Charleston counties, according to the weather service.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Peter was forecast to bring heavy rain toward much of the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

As of 5 p.m., the storm was around 150 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, moving west-northwest at 14 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm recorded wind speeds of 50 mph.

There were no coastal watches or warnings in effect Sept. 20, but the system was forecast to continue moving west-northwest throughout the next couple of days. None of the U.S. mainland was in Peter's path, according to the hurricane center's most recent update.

Call Jocelyn Grzeszczak at 843-323-9175. Follow her on Twitter at @jocgrz.



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