Downtown Charleston escapes major flooding from Isaias

Authorities blocked off a portion of Market Street, an area notorious for flooding, Monday...
Authorities blocked off a portion of Market Street, an area notorious for flooding, Monday afternoon.(Live 5)
Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 7:51 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - While the rain from Isaias has been coming down for hours, the Holy City dodged a bullet when it comes to flooding.

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist said it was a matter of timing. If high tide had been at 2 p.m., it would have been a very different story, he said.

But the storm’s path also helped spare downtown Charleston the typical flooding it might see from an offshore storm. Its distance from the coast and its path meant the strongest winds near Charleston were helping pushing storm surge away from the coast, not towards it.

Charleston Police blocked off a portion of the street of Market Street, an area notorious for flooding, but there was little standing water on the roadway.

City officials say they are prepared to close roads if they need to and announced a few road closures Monday afternoon.

Some businesses closed Monday afternoon and placed sandbags at their doors in the hopes of preventing any floodwaters from getting inside.

Earlier on Monday, Mayor John Tecklenburg called for all residents to stay in their homes after 6 p.m. and urged businesses to close as well to keep as many people as possible off the roads.

Along the Battery, which would normally have plenty of visitors, only a few ventured out to see the rough waters.

There were several inches of standing water on Battery Street by 6 p.m., but waves crashing against the Battery wall had begun to calm a bit.

Some Charleston residents say that while they are thankful the city is not expecting bigger impacts like those from previous storms, they still want the city to find a way to handle flooding better.

“I just hope the City of Charleston will work more on flood protection from the downtown area,” Charleston resident Iake Gunderson said. “I think that’s really important, but we are staying on the island because we love it here.”

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