CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The city of Charleston received roughly 28 calls for help because during weekend storms that caused flooding across the peninsula.
The Charleston Fire Department deployed a high-water vehicle during the flooding to help with several water rescues as storms both Saturday evening and Sunday morning dumped several inches of rain across the area.
“During these types of events, with high levels of rain and flash flooding, it’s critical that our citizens and visitors avoid all unnecessary travel and never drive through flooded roadways,” said Shannon Scaff, the city’s emergency management director. “As we always advise during these events, ‘Turn around. Don’t drown.’”
Seventeen roads remained closed on Sunday, and the city’s fire department said its high-water vehicle would remain on-hand until the remaining storms clear the area.
The Charleston City Market was filled with six to eight inches of water after storms rolled through. The flooding was up to some people’s knees, and cars became stuck after attempting to drive through flooded roadways.
People who live and work on the peninsula said Saturday night’s flooding was the worst they’ve seen in years.
“I didn’t expect it at all,” said Steven Salomon, who had worked in the Market for nearly 10 years. “I was here all day, too, and the rain kept coming in. We thought it was going to blow over, but it just hit us head-on.”
Crews are now turning to cleanup. They will spend the day clearing debris from storm drains and plan to work Monday to identify and clear any remaining blockages in the drainage system. They are also working to clean any debris that accumulated on the streets and sidewalks.
“City officials and crews continue to use every resource at their disposal to protect the life and safety of those in Charleston,” said Scaff.
The city’s Environmental Services Division briefly suspended garbage collection Sunday morning because of heavy rain, but crews have resumed collection and are working to complete their routes. “Citizens are asked to secure their garbage cans due to the ongoing rain,” the city said.
City leaders also opened the Public Safety Operations Center Saturday night to manage its response throughout the flooding event. It will remain open around the clock until all remaining threats have cleared the area.