manhole high tide rain.jpg (copy) (copy)

Water gurgled around a still-in-place manhole cover on Windermere Boulevard on Dec. 9, 2018 as high tides and light rain caused flooding in some parts of Charleston. Wade Spees/Staff

Charleston city officials and the National Weather Service are warning drivers to expect a wet commute Wednesday morning. 

The city issued a travel advisory early Tuesday night that will go into effect between 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Wednesday when unusually high tides and heavy winds are expected to bring "significant tidal flooding" and cause temporary road closures in several areas, according to a statement by the city. 

"As conditions remain favorable for flooding related to tidal influences ... I want to urge motorists to exercise caution, and remain alert to the possibility of standing water on our roadways," said Shannon Scaff, Charleston's director of emergency management, in a statement.

Wednesday morning's tide will peak at 8 feet around 8 a.m., according to the Weather Service's forecast. The tide will be one foot above flood stage, on the threshold for what is considered to be major flood stage in Charleston Harbor.

There is also a possibility of rain Wednesday, but the Weather Service said it was too early to tell if there would be any impact.

Authorities are preparing for flood conditions, and city public service crews are checking stormwater drainage systems, clearing drains and setting up temporary pumps in low-lying areas, officials stated.

The Charleston Police Department will be monitoring conditions and will have personnel and other resources in place as needed, officials stated.

Police encourage all drivers to respect barricades and not drive through standing water of unknown depth.

Based on data from recent floods, city officials predict that the following locations will be impacted: 

  • Intersection of Lockwood Boulevard and Broad Street
  • Calhoun Street between Courtenay Drive and Pitt Street
  • Intersection of Hagood Avenue and Fishburne Street
  • Highway 61 exit ramp from Ashley River Bridge to Saint Andrews Boulevard
  • Ashley River Bridge exit ramp onto Lockwood Drive
  • Connector from Lockwood Drive to Calhoun Street at the base of the James Island Connector
  • President Street between Bogard and Nunan streets
  • Intersection of Huger and King streets.

Charleston has grappled with flooding issues over the years.

As recently as Dec. 9, an 8.05-foot tide flooded low-lying areas and on Nov. 24, the Holy City saw its sixth highest tide on record, which exceeded levels seen during the 1,000-year flood of October 2015. 

Rainstorms regularly leave key roadways on the Charleston peninsula and elsewhere under water. Residents in West Ashley's Church Creek drainage basin have faced flooding issues since homes were first built in the 1980s. 

For up to date information on road closures in Charleston, visit the city's map online at

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Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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