Governor Nikki Haley and other state officials are warning parts of South Carolina could see record flooding as heavy rainfall continues to fall across the coast and northern South Carolina.
Forecasters are predicting that around 10 inches of rain could fall across much of South Carolina from Friday through Monday morning, raising the danger of severe flooding in those areas, particularly in some parts of the Midlands and Piedmont that are projected to receive more than 13 inches of rain during that span. Emergency preparedness officials are most worried about the storm’s size, predicting it will cover practically the entire state in a heavy downpour this weekend.
“We are going to see rainfall at historic levels,” Haley said after meeting with some Cabinet members and emergency operations officials Friday afternoon. “This will be a rainfall event that we have never seen before in South Carolina.”
Haley said she will not issue evacuation orders, but urged those living in low-lying areas to expect flooding. “These areas that have typically flooded in the past are absolutely going to flood now,” she told reporters. She asked those living in floodplains to make arrangements in advance.
South Carolina National Guard commander Adjutant Gen. Robert Livingston warned that flash flooding is in the forecast. “There’s no warning to those flash floods and, once you’re trapped, we can be a half-mile away and still can’t get to you in time,” he said after Haley spoke. “So please stay out of those low-lying areas.”
Clemson University still plans to play its scheduled game against Notre Dame at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night despite the weather. Haley said she had spoken with her alma mater’s athletic director Dan Radakovich, but hinted that she preferred fans not make the trip.
“It’s your call about whether you decide to go to game,” the governor said. But she warned that highway officials expect traffic to slow to a crawl and create potentially dangerous situations as drivers deal with standing water on roads. “If you don’t have to go, don’t go. It’s on TV.”
More than 3.4 inches of rain was reported at the National Weather Service station in Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday (the Wilmington weather coverage area includes Myrtle Beach and northeast South Carolina), breaking the previous 1891 record by more than an inch. That came a day after another daily record of more than 2.1 inches was reported by the NWS office in Charleston.
Flooding is occurring in downtown Charleston, along with Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, and Garden City. Heavy rains are expected to start this evening in the Midlands and Upstate.