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City of Charleston Prepares for Possible Impacts from Tropical Storm Elsa

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Press Release

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for parts of South Carolina, including Charleston and Berkeley Counties, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Elsa. While the forecast continues to change, city of Charleston Emergency Management officials are monitoring storm’s path and remain in close contact with NWS regarding potential impacts to the Charleston area.

According to the latest NWS forecast, Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to track northeast across eastern portions of South Carolina as a weakening tropical storm Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Heavy rainfall is expected, which could produce flash flooding in low-lying areas. The heaviest rainfall is forecast to occur Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.

Maximum sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph and maximum gusts of 35 to 40 mph are expected, with the strongest winds forecast to reach the Charleston area Wednesday evening into Thursday morning. Based on the current forecast, minor damage to weak trees and structures is possible.

City crews have begun preparing for potential storm impacts and report the following at this time:

Emergency Management Division: The Public Safety Operations Center will open this evening and remain activated to manage the city’s response throughout the storm.

West Ashley Farmers Market: Due to the forecast for heavy rain this evening, today’s West Ashley Farmers Market scheduled to take place from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in Ackerman Park has been canceled. The market is expected to resume normal operations next week.

Stormwater Department: Stormwater personnel have secured and deployed pumps in areas of known flooding throughout the city to assist with stormwater drainage.

Environmental Services Division: Crews are out clearing debris from storm drains to ensure efficient drainage during the storm and are prepared to assist with post-event clean-up, as needed.

With the heavy rain and winds expected overnight, citizens are asked to wait until morning to place garbage bins at the curb.

 Parks Department: Urban Forestry crews are on standby to assist with any downed trees and post-event debris clean-up.

The water levels in Colonial Lake and Lake Dotterer have been lowered in anticipation of tonight’s heavy rainfall.

Charleston Fire Department: Fire Department personnel have activated their high water team and have a high water vehicle prepared to perform rescues, as needed.

Charleston Police Department: CPD will monitor the safety of the city’s roadways throughout the storm and barricade flooded streets, as necessary.

Please follow @CharlestonPD on Twitter or check https://gis.charleston-sc.gov/road-closures for the latest updates on road closures.

City of Charleston Emergency Management Director Shannon Scaff said, “The city’s Emergency Management team will remain in close contact with the National Weather Service as the storm inches closer to South Carolina throughout the day today. Preparations are well underway citywide, with proactive measures in place for whatever impacts Elsa may bring.”

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