Flooding from king tides expected to peak Wednesday; water floods coastal businesses, neighborhoods

October 2015 king-tide flooding in Beaufort County

The "king tides" that caused substantial flooding at Beaufort's Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park the morning of Oct. 27, 2016, were forecast for the following day as well.
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The "king tides" that caused substantial flooding at Beaufort's Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park the morning of Oct. 27, 2016, were forecast for the following day as well.

Coastal flooding from king tides Tuesday morning led to widespread flooding throughout Beaufort County, although its impact appears minimal.

Flooding from the high tides -- caused by astronomical factors such as a full moon and the moon's perigee occurring in close proximity to one another -- is likely to continue into Wednesday, National Weather Service Charleston meteorologist Steve Rowley said Tuesday.

Tidal flooding was reported from Grays Hill to Hilton Head Island on Tuesday by residents, many of whom said the water levels were unheard of.

Observing tidal flooding?

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The tides washed over walls in Shelter Cove and Harbour Town marinas, but caused no damage. An owner of a boat docked in Shelter Cove said the tides were higher than he had seen in 30 years on Hilton Head, dockmaster Jason Wheeler said.

Wheeler said the marina's staff is expecting the water level to again rise past the wharf wall Wednesday morning. High tide is at 9:48 a.m. Wednesday.

"It was pretty crazy," Wheeler said. "Usually when we get a full moon the water comes up to the edge of the wall but doesn't go over. Today it just kept coming."

Harbour Town harbormaster Nancy Capplemann said she hadn't seen water come over the marina wall before, but said the high tides caused no damage

At Hudson's Seafood on the Docks, water covered the parking lot and most of the manmade peninsula the restaurant sits on, but the restaurant was mostly unaffected. Aside from a cooler that was damaged by water, Hudson's opened normally for business, general manager Andrew Carmines said.

"It was the biggest tide I've seen in 37 years here," he said. "It was crazy."

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Carmines said he and the restaurant staff debated having sandbags placed around the property to stem the flow of water, but given their location, the sandbags wouldn't help much. Although tides are expected to be higher than normal again Wednesday, Carmines was hopeful that a forecasted change in wind direction would lead to a lower water level than Tuesday.

On Hunting Island, flooding in the campground forced some campers to move to drier sites, park manager Daniel Gambrell said. The campground and the south beach area received the worst flooding, but it didn't cause any significant damage, he said.

Attempts to reach Harbor Island residents were unsuccessful.

No roads were reported to be closed because of standing water, Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Bob Bromage said.

Rowley said the tides could be an issue through the end of the week.

A coastal flood warning was in effect Tuesday morning and coastal flood advisories are expected to be in effect each morning through the end of the week, Rowley said.

Although rain is forecast for the county through Wednesday, it is not expected to be a factor in possible flooding, he said.

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