Historic river flooding to keep coastal communities in South Carolina underwater into October

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
September 27, 2018, 11:45:36 PM EDT

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While crests have occurred along the major rivers in the Carolina Midlands, the surge of water has reached areas just inland of the coast and will keep some coastal rivers, such as the Waccamaw, at major flood stage well into October.

The Waccamaw River at Conway, South Carolina, reached record flood stage late last week. At Conway, the river crested during the middle of this week but is not forecast dip below the prior record flood stage of 17.9 feet until early next week. The Waccamaw may stay above flood stage into the latter part of October.

Static AP Yauhannah, SC Flooding 9-24

A pastor talks about the flooding of his church in Yauhannah, S.C., on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. The church is on the bank of the Waccamaw River which has already risen above its record crest and has forced thousands of evacuations in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. (AP Photo/Jeffrey S. Collins)


Multiple meandering rivers such as the Pee Dee, Lynches, Black and Waccamaw converge on the Georgetown County, South Carolina, lowlands where the surge of water will focus over the next week.

Ahead of the anticipated flooding, on Monday, the Georgetown County, South Carolina, government issued mandatory evacuation orders for nearly 8,000 people.

Static River Flooding 3 pm


Many of the rivers in the lowlands are tidal to some extent. Flooding will be worst at times of high tide with multiple crests through the weekend.

Meanwhile, rivers over the Carolina Midlands are slowly receding.

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The Lumber River at Lumberton, North Carolina, is now below moderate flood stage but may stay above minor flood stage until the start of October.

The Neuse River at Kinston, North Carolina, is forecast to fall steadily through the end of this week and may dip below flood stage this weekend.

Many portions of the Cape Fear River have dipped below flood stage this week. However, at Burgaw, North Carolina, the river may not fall below flood stage until Sunday or Monday.

Is there anything in the short term that may aggravate flooding?

A non-tropical storm system is forecast to stall or move slowly through the region into Saturday.

While there is the potential for locally heavy rain, not enough rainfall is forecast to cause new, large rises on the rivers in the Midlands or the coastal areas.

SE regional 9.27 PM


There has been too long of a separation from Florence's rain and the present date. It takes days for rainfall to work its way into the rivers over the Midlands and a week or more for that rainfall to work its way into the coastal rivers.

Enough rain may fall to cause localized urban, flash and small stream flooding, due to the wet state of the ground in portions of the Southeast in general.

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