Cougar Alert: Major Tidal Flooding Forecasted for Charleston Area

By | September 19, 2020

This is an important advisory from the College of Charleston’s Cougar Alert Emergency Notification System. 

Dear Campus Community, 

This weekend, the Charleston area will experience major tidal flooding, particularly downtown. High tides on Saturday, Sunday and into Monday could exceed 8 feet or more, which could make many roads impassable, damage property and pose hazards to pedestrians and motorists. 

The next high tide in Charleston will occur around 10:23 p.m. on Saturday. (See below for additional high tide dates and times.) 

Be aware of the following: 

  • Expect road closures and flooding in low-lying areas. 
  • Avoid travel, if possible, and do not drive around barricades or through flood water of unknown depth. Vehicles can stall from driving or parking in flooded areas. 
  • Take necessary actions to protect flood-prone property. 
  • Dangerous rip currents can sweep even strong swimmers away from shore into deeper water. 

Those who are new to Charleston, especially new students, should be aware that these so-called “King Tide events occurring in Charleston this week can pose significant danger to life and property. 

The average high tide in Charleston is about 5.5 feet. But during King Tide event, the high tide can reach 7 feet or higher. King Tides occur when there is alignment of the gravitational pull between the sun and moon. 

Many streets to the west of the CofC campus are prone to coastal flooding. These streets include Lockwood Boulevard, Wentworth Street, Barre Street, Ashley Avenue, Gadsden StreetBeaufain StreetHagood Avenue and others. Some of these roadways have already seen partial closures due to the high tide on Saturday morning. The current forecast for rain is low. 

Use the City of Charleston’s Tide eye website for important tidal and flooding information. Check the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Charleston for the latest weather advisories. Stay tuned to local news and weather stations for the latest updates. 

Forecasted Tides for Charleston  

Date  High Tide  Level 
Saturday 9/19  10:23 PM  8.6’ 
Sunday 9/20  11:00 AM  8.7’ 
Sunday 9/20  11:00 PM  8.2’ 
Monday 9/21  12:00 Noon  8.5’ 
Monday 9/21  12:00 Midnight  7.4’ 


Free Parking Available 

The College’s PG parking garagelocated at 81 St. Philip St.will be available for members of the campus community to park for free in order to move their vehicles to higher ground. Anyone parking in PG garage who does not have a permit for that garage will need to move their vehicle from the garage no later than 8 a.m. Monday. 

In addition, the following City of Charleston parking garages will be open for residents to park for free beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday: 

  • Aquarium Garage, 24 Calhoun St. 
  • Concord/Cumberland, 1 Cumberland St. 
  • Queen Street, 93 Queen St. 
  • Visitor Center, 63 Mary St. 
  • 99 West Edge, 99 West Edge St. 

All cars must be moved from the city garages by 4 p.m. Monday in order to be eligible for the free parking. Anyone using the free parking service has to get a ticket upon entering the garage, press the black “assistance” button on the call box when leaving so an attendant can help, state they were parking to avoid flooding, provide name and address when requested, insert the ticket into the machine and the attendant will raise the gate for you to exit. No boats, trailers or golf carts are allowed. 

Be safe, Cougars! 

-College of Charleston Emergency Management Team