Charleston Streets Flood as Supermoon Causes King Tides Along East Coast

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – For the past week, a number of factors have come together to cause coastal flooding along the East Coast, including in Charleston, South Carolina – some astronomical; some meteorological. 

The flooding is expected to continue in the historic town this weekend, with the main culprit being the king tide. According to NOAA, a king tide is an exceptionally high tide or coastal water level that is caused by the gravitational pull of a full or new Moon. The final Supermoon of the year happened early Friday.

FOX Weather multimedia journalist Brandy Campbell visited Charleston Friday to investigate how the king tide has already begun to impact residents, whose neighborhoods have already seen the floodwater creeping into their streets.

“Flooding has been a problem here forever, and that’s because they built on a marsh and filled it in,” said Charleston resident Peg Eastman, as she stood on the Charleston battery overlooking the Atlantic.

Since high tide Friday morning, the floodwater has begun to recede, but it is still posing problems. Campbell noted how standing floods caused some roads to be blocked off, while others remained open for vehicles to drive through partially submerged areas. The city has even deployed trucks to pump the water out.

Campbell noted how some residents opted to walk to work, rather than drive because of the road conditions. They were concerned that, if they did use their vehicles, they would come back later in the day and wouldn’t be able to pull back up to their driveways due to the rising floodwater.

“If you live near the water, you live with the water,” said Marilyn Johnson, a friend of Eastman and resident of Charleston.

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The National Weather Service stated that this flooding will continue throughout the weekend, but not just in Charleston. 

Coastal flood alerts have been issued for large swaths of the East Coast, from Florida to Maine. In addition to the Moon, other issues, such as persistent onshore winds and residual energy from a recent tropical storm, have added to the problem.

Most areas inside the Coastal Flood Advisories will see tidal inundation of a foot or less, though some spots along North Carolina’s Outer Banks may see as much as 2 feet of water. 

Additional coastal flooding will remain possible around the times of high tide along the Atlantic coast over the next couple of days.

Source: Fox Weather