Widespread coastal flooding may cause road closures Monday and Tuesday before conditions begin improving toward the middle of the week.
The National Weather Service issued Coastal Flood Warnings for the Lowcountry coastline until 3pm Monday. Coastal Flood Warnings are normally issued when at least widespread moderate coastal flooding is anticipated. The tidal gauge at Charleston Harbor was expected to peak at major flood stage near the time of high tide around noon Monday. Forecasters say salt water inundation of 1 to 2 feet above normally dry ground is forecast in parts of the coastal flood warning area.
Major coastal flooding is likely again at #Charleston Harbor around midday today. There is light at the end of the tunnel, though! Another day of minor to moderate flooding is forecast Tuesday before conditions improve even further on Wednesday. #scwx pic.twitter.com/2w7zAhrwZW
— Ray Hawthorne (@ray_hawthorne) September 21, 2020
Coastal Flood Advisories are in effect for the Grand Strand area, including Georgetown and Horry counties until 2pm Monday. Advisories are typically issued when widespread minor coastal flooding is forecast. The Weather Service in Wilmington, NC said salt water inundation of up to 6 inches above normally dry ground was anticipated along the Grand Strand near the time of high today Monday.
Rough surf and rip currents from the strong winds and long-period swell generated by Hurricane Teddy well offshore will create dangerous conditions for those looking to venture into the ocean Monday and Tuesday, as well.
The persistent northeast winds, the perigee (when the moon is closer to the earth in its orbit), and subtle background sea-level rise are all factors contributing to the coastal flooding. The winds are expected to gradually subside Tuesday, but minor to moderate coastal flooding is still predicted near Charleston around 1am and 1pm Tuesday. Coastal flooding is less likely along the entire South Carolina coast by Wednesday.