FIRST ALERT: Flash flood watch to continue into Tuesday morning

VIDEO: FIRST ALERT: Flash flood watch to continue into Tuesday morning

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A flash flood watch will continue through Tuesday morning for much of South Carolina.

In the Lowcountry, the watch includes Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Williamsburg, Georgetown, Allendale, Jasper, and Hampton Counties.

In addition, late Monday night, Dominion Energy officials said around 1,200 customers, mostly along the coast and in Charleston County, were without power due to the weather related causes like trees on lines.

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said the storm will move east and drier air will build in behind it.

Look for showers Monday night and into Tuesday morning before drier air moves in and sunshine returns by lunch Tuesday.

“High pressure will take over for Christmas Day and lots of sunshine is expected with highs in the mid 60′s,” Walsh said."Look for more sunshine Thursday and Friday with highs near 70."

Monday flooding leads to street closures

On Monday, portions of the Lowcountry were inundated with rain causing roads in downtown Charleston to close. Most of the roads have since been reopened.

Residents said it’s a pretty common sight whenever it rains.

“Whenever it’s raining you have to watch out. I mean the streets are closed, people are stuck and don’t respect the flooding," said Mike Millon, a Charleston resident. "So, yeah sometimes it is a problem.”

The worst of the flooding was seen Monday morning at high tide.

Since that time levels have receded but there were still areas like Wentworth Street which were still flooded Monday evening.

Live 5 Meteorologist Stephanie Sine said the rainfall forecast through Tuesday morning could put this month in the running for one of the wettest Decembers on record.

The City of Charleston is reporting numerous street closures as heavy rains continue across the Lowcountry.
The City of Charleston is reporting numerous street closures as heavy rains continue across the Lowcountry. (Source: Live 5)

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The Charleston Fire Department posted a reminder to drivers that they should not drive around any posted barricades at flooded roads. Just 12 inches of water can sweep a car off the road, the post states.

Life Saving Tips from Your CFD. The National Weather Service Charleston currently forecasts significant weather this...

Posted by Charleston Fire Department on Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Charleston County Public Library closed the West Ashley branch, located at 45 Windermere Blvd. because of flooding in the area. Book drops will be closed but overdue fines will be waived during the closure period, CCPL spokesman Doug Reynolds said. The library will also be closed Tuesday through Thursday for the holidays and will reopen on Friday. Book drops will not be available during the holiday closure, but overdue fines will be waved then as well.

CCPL officials released the following additional information:

All CCPL branches throughout Charleston County will close at 3 p.m. today, Dec. 23, due to inclement weather. During this time, book drops will be closed, but overdue fines will be waived during the closure period.

As a reminder, CCPL branches will also be closed for the holidays, Dec. 24 through Dec. 26 and will reopen Friday, Dec. 27. Book drops will be unavailable while the branches are closed so that our staff can spend time with their families. Overdue fines will not be charged while the book drops are closed.

The City of Charleston released the following information on preparations:

In consultation with the National Weather Service, City of Charleston emergency management officials have begun finalizing preparations for a significant storm event beginning overnight tonight and continuing through Tuesday evening.

The worst conditions are currently expected overnight Sunday into the early hours of Monday morning, as high tides and heavy rains combine to cause flooding on low-lying city streets.

As always, city emergency management officials urge motorists to avoid flooded roadways and exercise caution when driving in areas prone to flooding.

In addition, with residential garbage collection suspended for the Christmas holiday, citizens are asked to retrieve and secure any cans that may have been placed curbside.

At present, city crews are continuing to monitor ditches and storm drains and perform pre-storm preventative maintenance. Portable pumps have been secured and pre-positioned for use as needed.

City police are monitoring conditions and will work with city Traffic and Transportation officials to manage road closures and re-openings as conditions warrant.

"Based on the latest forecast, we would encourage motorists to avoid unnecessary travel in the city over the next 48 hours, particularly overnight tonight through mid-day Monday," said city Emergency Director Shannon Scaff. "For those who must be out, please remain aware of the possibility of flash flooding and use alternative routes to avoid driving through any standing water you may encounter."

City officials will remain in close communication with the National Weather Service throughout the storm, and ask citizens to monitor local media for weather-related news and updates until it has cleared the area.

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