The city remains at OPCON 3 as officials continue to monitor Hurricane Idalia’s track and are prepare for impacts in the Charleston area.
The city will shift to OPCON 2 at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, August 30 in conjunction with the planned activation of the Municipal Emergency Operations Center (MEOC). The MEOC will be staffed throughout the day Wednesday with city Emergency Management, Police, Fire and other essential personnel managing the city’s response to the storm.
City plans and preparations: At an emergency meeting this afternoon, Mayor Tecklenburg and City Council declared a state of emergency in the city of Charleston, and gave the mayor the authority to close streets and limit travel, if necessary, due to extreme conditions. The declaration followed Gov. Henry McMaster's state declaration of emergency earlier in the day.
City offices, including all city recreation facilities and the City Gallery, will be closed on Wednesday, August 30. The West Ashley Farmers Market and Bank On Charleston event scheduled for Wednesday have been cancelled, as well as the city’s Government 101 event scheduled for Thursday.
Weather permitting, garbage and trash collection will proceed as scheduled on Wednesday. Crews will monitor conditions and make any adjustments, as needed.
Due to the likelihood of flooding, Stormwater and Public Service Department crews are working to position temporary pumps, clear ditches and drains, and sweep streets in low lying areas.
The Parks Department has lowered the water levels in Lake Dotterer and Colonial Lake, and is working to secure loose materials in parks and address any tree canopy needs ahead of the storm.
The Police Department has barricades staged in areas of known flooding and will close flooded roadways during the storm, as needed. Citizens are advised to avoid travel during the storm and, as always, should never drive on flooded roadways.
As roads are closed, city staff will update the GIS map linked here: https://gis.charleston-sc.gov/road-closures-regional/map/.
The Fire Department has high water vehicles on-hand and stands ready to assist throughout the storm as needed.
Sandbags: Sandbag distribution will continue tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. or while supplies last at the following self-serve locations. Residents should bring their own shovels for assembly. Staff will be on-site to provide assistance, as needed.
- Bees Landing Recreation Center, 1580 Ashley Gardens Boulevard
- James Island Town Hall, 1122 Dills Bluff Road
- Hampton Park (parking lot near the baseball field), 30 Mary Murray Drive
Parking garages: The following city parking garages will be open to the public to park their cars for free during the storm. In order to take advantage of the free storm parking, cars must be parked after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 30 and removed by 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 31.
- Aquarium parking garage (24 Calhoun Street)
- Visitor Center parking garage (63 Mary Street)
- Queen Street parking garage (93 Queen Street)
- East Bay/Prioleau parking garage (25 Prioleau Street)
- 99 West Edge parking garage (99 West Edge Street)
- Charleston Tech Center parking garage (997 Morrison Drive)
Citizens are reminded that garage openings are for cars only, and do not apply to boats, trailers or golf carts.
Current forecast: At this time, the primary threat to the Charleston area is heavy rainfall and major coastal flooding associated with King Tides. Charleston is currently forecast to receive 4 to 8 inches of rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning, with 8-foot tides projected for Wednesday night.
Tropical storm-force winds and heavy rainbands are expected to arrive as early as Wednesday morning.
Charleston and Berkeley Counties are both currently under Tropical Storm Warnings.
Additional information: 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. Citizens can also monitor weather and tidal conditions via TideEye, the city’s web and mobile friendly GIS tool, linked here: https://gis.charleston-sc.gov/tideeye/.
The Citizen Services Desk is staffed to answer citizens’ questions about storm preparations and can be reached at 843-724-7311.