Charleston gets all wet, smashing records

Image by Geoff Marshall/TheDigitelImage by flood1.jpg Ashley Avenue was still flooded on Saturday morning.

Updates throughout: Flooding in Charleston was rampant on Friday night, leaving numerous cars stalled out at classic locations like East Bay Street and at Calhoun Street and Rutledge Avenue where water was nearly a foot deep in spots.

Records were smashed by day-long deluge of rain of 6.57 inches. The October 24 record was 2.3 inches set in 2007, and the record for October was 4.48 inches set on October 11, 1990, according to The National Weather Service.

At the junction of Rutledge Avenue and Calhoun Streets, several motorists abandoned their cars at a BP gas station. Some of those cars had stalled, but some were fine and their drivers preferred to leave the car behind, roll up their pants and wade through the water which was over a foot deep in some parts.

Ashley, 22, a College of Charleston student, had her call stall on Smith Street and enrolled the help of a couple of passing Citadel cadets to float her car back onto a drier part of the road. It's engine failing to start she looked on miserable, "I only just had it serviced last week," Ashley said.

Other were keen to point out that the weather was much worse than when Hanna came through a few weeks ago. "We should have had a hurricane party tonight!" were the comments of some bare footed guys, wading through the cold murky waters on Calhoun.

Local amateur weather guru Jared Smith has a pretty good round up of why and where. Sufficing to say: The rain deluge hit through high tide around 5:30 p.m. and left the rainfall of 5-to-8 inches little place to go.

On the upside, higher highs in the low 70s are on the way for the weekend, as well as sunny skies on Sunday (Go get the full forecast).

In September, the Charleston City Paper did a mini round-up of what the deal is with Charleston's drainage woes. And when I was at The Post and Courier I did a graphic that explains why downtown floods, and where it gets the worst.

Update October 25: Most of the water has receeded but parts of the penisular are still badly flooded with many roads still closed off. Ashley Avenue south of Calhoun and the surrounding area remains the worst.

Many high school football games have been rescheduled, The Post and Courier has a round-up.

Update October 26: ABC News 4 has a story about 32 homes getting flooded in West Ashley. The problem is blamed largely on drainage plans having never been carried out.

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