CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A flash flood warning for Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester and Colleton Counties has been extended until Sunday evening. There is also a chance of isolated tornadoes throughout Saturday evening.
Tide levels in the Charleston Harbor are expected to peak at between 8.1 to 8.5 feet. The National Weather service says torrential rains will fall around high tide Saturday afternoon, with moderate to major flooding likely in some areas, especially around parts of Daniel Island.
Authorities closed the Charleston peninsula to all traffic Saturday morning. Authorities say emergency personnel will be allowed to drive into downtown Charleston and they will be routed accordingly.
At 6:04 a.m., local law enforcement reported significant flash flooding across the area. The National Weather Service reported water starting to approach homes in the Shadowmoss area in West Ashley.
Three to five inches of rain have already fallen across the area with an additional two to four inches possible Saturday morning.
A flash flood watch remains in effect through Sunday at 2 p.m. for Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Allendale, Hampton, and Jasper Counties.
In addition, a high rip current risk remains in effect through Saturday evening.
The rain is expected to be on and off again through Sunday afternoon.
Live 5 News Meteorologist Bill Walsh says the rainfall potential for Saturday is between 8 to 12 inches.
"This is a rare event for our area and is the result of this combination of a complex storm system and high tides," Walsh said.
Significant flooding is possible across southeast South Carolina through the weekend with forecasters calling for record rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding possible.
The combination of a stalled low pressure system from the west and deep tropical moisture from Hurricane Joaquin pulled up from the tropics are expected to combine to fuel the potentially-historic heavy rainfall.
Across coastal counties including downtown Charleston the risk for dangerous flash flooding will be especially high around the times of each elevated high tide.