Rain, tide flood streets

Parisa Mousavi struggles through a flooded Rutledge Avenue on her way home from work at the Medical University of South Carolina on Friday as heavy rain during high tide made many streets in downtown Charleston a challenge to navigate.

CHARLESTON - The heavy rain that fell Friday afternoon on Charleston might have brought welcome relief from the sweltering heat had the deluge not arrived with a rising tide.

Today brings more heat and a chance of more storms.

Nearly 2 inches of rain fell in the peninsula during a storm that lasted from about 3 to 5 p.m. The tide was coming in with the forecast high tide set for about 6 p.m.

Traffic snarled as streets began to flood. All the usual spots that are prone to flooding were affected, including the Septima Clark Crosstown Expressway, Rutledge Avenue, Calhoun Street and the City Market area. Cars stalled in the high water. Many had to be pushed to drier land, and some had to wait for tow trucks.

There were no reports of damage during the storm, said Ryan Aylward, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston. There were unconfirmed reports of flash flooding on roads in the College Park area of Ladson, he said.

The storm did provide some relief from the heat. The high at the airport was 93 degrees Friday, Aylward said. The heat index was 110. "It cooled things off -- we're sitting around 79 now," Aylward said Friday evening.

Today should be much like Friday, but without the hassle of rush-hour traffic. The forecast calls for a high of 90 and a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms, Aylward said.

Reach David W. MacDougall at macdougd@postandcourier.com.