Weather

Bluffton had most rain in the US in 24 hours — then it rained more. Sunny days ahead?

Here are 5 risks that come with floodwater

Biggest hazards sometimes come after the storm.
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Biggest hazards sometimes come after the storm.

If you’re thinking it, you’re not alone: Will this rain ever end?

Meteorologically speaking, yes. Bluffton and Hilton Head Island have partly sunny forecasts starting Thursday.

But the massive amounts of rain got the attention of weather experts from around the country in the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), which listed Bluffton’s 8.64 inches of rain in the 24-hour period from June 11-12 as the highest in the country.

The non-stop showers and thunderstorms dumped rain unevenly on Beaufort County — the south end of Daufuskie Island got 1.71 inches yesterday while Old Town Bluffton got 7.09, CoCoRaHS said.

And then it kept raining.

The National Weather Service Charleston issued a flash flood watch for Beaufort and Jasper counties, along with most of the Lowcountry region.

Around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, heavy downpours across Bluffton caused an outage to the traffic light at Highway 46 and U.S. 278. At the Highway 170 and U.S. 278 interchange, road flooding backed up traffic during the evening commute, according to a news release from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Parts of Bluffton received another 5.2 inches of rain, while Hilton Head saw between 2 and 3 inches of rain between June 12-13, CoCoRaHS said. North of the Broad River appeared to recieve less rain in the last day. Areas around Beaufort got less than an inch of rain in the same time period.

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Katherine Kokal The Island Packet


If you’re tired of the rainy days, there is relief in the forecast.

“Rain chances will drop off quickly through the night (Wednesday) as drier air moves in the area from Thursday to Saturday,” according to NWS Charleston.

Cooler temperatures are expected as well, with lows in the 60s in some of the inland areas of the Lowcountry.

However, Beaufort County and others technically remain in “moderate drought” status.

That is, until the drought response committee meets again Thursday morning to reassess drought conditions.

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S.C. Drought Response Committee

Rain for days

Beaufort County has been under on-again-off-again flash flood watches for several days, and downed trees in the area have caused accidents as far inland as Richland.

On Hilton Head, southbound traffic backed up for several hours when a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Deputy had to block the right lane on U.S. 278 Wednesday morning because it was flooded.

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Taiwan Scott Submitted to The Island Packet

The Island Packet’s article about “17 things to do when it rains on Hilton Head Island” is trending again as tourist season ramps up during a week that’s been wetter than Tropical Storm Irma was in 2017.

Some areas received more rainfall Tuesday and Wednesday than they did during recent tropical storms and hurricanes.

During Irma’s visit to Hilton Head, the area saw 7.76 inches of rain. The recent rainfall also surpassed Tropical Storm Hermine’s total rainfall in 2016 of three to five inches.

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Katherine Kokal The Island Packet

Luckily, we haven’t yet surpassed Hurricane Matthew’s rain totals, which reached 14.04 inches.

An additional two to five inches rain is in the forecast for Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Mandy Matney is an award-winning journalist and self-proclaimed shark enthusiast from Kansas. She worked for newspapers in Missouri and Illinois before she realized Midwestern winters are horrible, then moved to Hilton Head in 2016. She is the breaking news editor at the Island Packet.
Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.
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