Heavy rains, high tide leaves motorists stranded in downtown Charleston

By Tracey Amick  bio | email

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Heavy rains and high tides mean flooded streets in downtown Charleston and that means flooded cars.

Kris Furniss had his car towed and said he tried to avoid flooded streets Wednesday morning.

"On Rutledge it made me turn around then King Street made me turn around, I kept looping around looping around went by the Citadel took a chance and it didn't work out in my favor," said Furniss.

His car flooded and stalled. Dennis Babcock, a driver for Turky's Towing said he's far from alone.

"On days like this it probably quadruples our calls for flooded cars," said Babcock.

As if having their cars flooded out isn't bad enough, many of these drivers get mad when they find out they'll have to wait hours for a tow since the towing companies won't drive their trucks down these streets themselves until the tide goes down and the water recedes.

"So I sat for a good hour and a half  staring in the car, waiting for the water levels to go down before they'd release a truck," said Furniss.

Babcock said they can't risk destroying their vehicles to try to tow other vehicles.

The highest water they'll drive through in their huge trucks is where the tire meets the rim  Babcock said the biggest mistake drivers make is driving smaller cars through higher water.

"If they feel like the water is starting to come in they need to shut the engine down and get out, or the damage is more than what its worth,"  said Babcock.

"Big lesson learned -- stay at home, avoid all puddles it won't happen with me again," said Furniss.

Furniss said he'd rather lose a day at work than lose his car.

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