City of Charleston officials continue to prepare for impacts from Hurricane Ian. City Emergency Management is working closely with state and regional officials to monitor the storm’s track and coordinate preparation efforts.
Currently projected impacts: The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch and a Storm Surge Watch for Charleston County, anticipating a two- to four-foot storm surge in the next 48-hour period.
At this time, the primary threat to the city of Charleston is expected to be flooding due to heavy rainfall and high tides starting Wednesday evening and continuing through Saturday. Between Wednesday and Sunday, six to eight inches of rainfall is projected. Locally higher amounts and substantial rainfall rates may occur.
Coastal flooding is possible as early as Wednesday and may be exacerbated by rainfall Thursday and Friday. Wednesday night through Friday, there will be gusty winds, possibly to tropical storm force (39+ mph), according to NWS Charleston.
Sandbags: From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, the city will have a limited number of free sand and bags available for residents to build their own sandbags. Residents should bring their own shovels for assembly. Staff will be on-site to assist, as needed.
The self-serve pick-up locations are:
- Bee’s Landing Recreation Center, 1580 Ashley Garden Boulevard (West Ashley)
- Hampton Park parking lot on the corner of Ashley Avenue and Mary Murray Drive (peninsula)
- Seven Farms Drive behind Governor’s Park Dog Park, Under I-526 (Daniel Island)
- Grace Bridge Street parking lot between America and East Bay streets (peninsula)
Sandbag locations with town of James Island:
- James Island Town Hall, 1122 Dills Bluff Road (James Island)
There is a limit of 10 sandbags per residence. To purchase additional sandbags, citizens should contact a local home hardware store.
Cancellations: In accordance with guidance from the Emergency Management Division, the following city-scheduled events have been cancelled or rescheduled:
- West Ashley Farmers Market, September 28 – cancelled.
- Coffee with the Mayor, September 29 from 8 – 9 a.m. at Local Works, 1859 Summerville Avenue, Suite 800 – cancelled.
- MOJA Opening Parade, September 29 – cancelled.
- MOJA Visual Arts reception, September 29 5 – 7 p.m. at City Gallery – rescheduled to a later date.
- MOJA Reggae Block Dance, September 30 6 p.m. at Brittlebank Park – cancelled.
- Charleston Farmers Market, October 1 – cancelled.
- Operation Neighborhood, October 1 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Hampstead Square Park, Columbus and America Streets – rescheduled to a later date.
- Black Biz on the Block, October 1 – from 1 to 5 p.m. at Philip Simmons Park, 64 Columbus Street – rescheduled to October 22.
- Cooper River Bridge Run Kids Run, October 2 from 2 – 6 p.m. at Stoney Field – rescheduled to a later date.
The city’s Emergency Management Division continues to review events and will update this list as necessary.
More information: Due to the potential for flooding, the city’s Stormwater Department has reserved temporary pumps to position in low lying areas. Stormwater and Public Service Department crews continue to clean ditches and drains in flood-prone areas. Citizens can visit the city’s Adopt-a-drain webpage for information on ways they can help.
The Parks Department is working to lower water levels in Lake Dotterer and Colonial Lake.
Citizens are encouraged to begin making preparations now. The city’s Hurricane Information webpage can be accessed at https://www.charleston-sc.gov/Hurricane-Information. Updates on Hurricane Ian will be released and posted to the webpage as new information becomes available.
“As the track of this storm remains highly variable, citizens are asked to continue to monitor reliable weather outlets, and to be prepared for significant flooding impacts from Wednesday through Saturday,” said City of Charleston Emergency Management Director Ben Almquist.
For the most accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts, residents should stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service Charleston websites, as well as local media and the FEMA app. Additional hurricane preparedness information can be found at www.scemd.org.