Additional Rainfall to Add to Historic Flooding Across Carolinas Into Monday
By By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
October 06, 2015, 9:34:51 AM EDT
For live updates on the major to catastrophic flooding unfolding in the Carolinas, please visit this news story.
An intense band of heavy rainfall will continue across South Carolina and far southeastern North Carolina through Monday, worsening the already historic flooding that is underway.
In eastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina, totals will range from 12 to 24 inches, nearly half of the normal rainfall for an entire year in some areas.
“With records being broken for both rainfall and creek levels, it is easy to see why flood waters are inundating so many roads and communities,” stated AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski, “and unfortunately, more rain will only worsen the life-threatening situation into Monday.”
Heavy rainfall began across much of the East Coast on Thursday. While a good portion of the East Coast has had the heavy rain taper to showers or even drizzle, a band of heavy rain continues to sit over South Carolina and far southeastern North Carolina.
Even though Hurricane Joaquin is tracking away from the United States, the torrential rainfall developed due to a combination of tropical moisture and a non-tropical system.
Lives and property will be severely threatened where the heavy rain hits the same areas for several hours.
An additional 3 to 6 inches of rain will fall in northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina through Monday.
Locally higher amounts are possible in areas where the heavy rain band sits for a long duration of time. Rainfall rates could reach 1 and 2 inches of rain per hour.
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According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll, "Storm drains will be unable to keep up with the extreme rainfall rates and entire towns will become lakes."
Flood waters threaten to enter more homes and businesses, as well as submerge vehicles. Motorists who venture out amid the flooding and torrential rain run the risk of getting stranded or could put their lives in danger as more roads will go under water. Hundreds of swift water rescues have been performed since Saturday night, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.
Already raging creeks and streams will rise further, overflowing their banks. The rushing water could even wash away or damage more roads and bridges.
“Hazards also exist for anyone on foot crossing flood waters,” said Pydynowski. “It only takes six inches of fast-flowing flood waters to knock over an adult, 12 inches to carry away a small car and two feet to sweep away most vehicles.”
Drivers are urged to stay off the roads until conditions improve. Even when the rain departs by Tuesday, some roads will likely remain flooded through much of the week.
"Creeks and rivers will overflow their banks and it will take several days for the flood waters to recede," Doll said.
Nearby rivers will continue to rise after the rain departs. Some rivers could reach record levels by midweek. Homes and businesses are at risk for major flooding.
According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, South Carolina, the Charleston International Airport received 11.50 inches of rain on Saturday. This marks the wettest day on record surpassing the old record of 10.52 inches set on Sept. 21, 1998.
The airport also set records for the greatest two- and three-day rainfall totals, as well as the October monthly total.
The wind and widespread coastal flooding threat will lessen some along the coast after the weekend.
Once the rain departs the Carolinas, a stretch of dry weather will be in place through at least the upcoming weekend.
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