Record rainfall douses Charleston, South Carolina, as responders help some out of flood waters

A Charleston police officer closes off a portion of Market Street during heavy rains and flooding on Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Charleston, S.C. (Glenn Smith/The Post And Courier via AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A record-setting rainstorm flooded parts of Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday, requiring emergency responders to help some people get out of high waters.

The National Weather Service in Charleston reported that 3.63 inches (9.22 centimeters) of rain doused downtown Charleston on Saturday, shattering the one-day record of 1.43 inch (3.63 centimeters) from 1948. The 1.95 inches (4.95 centimeters) of rainfall recorded at Charleston International Airport broke a record of 1.13 inch (2.87 centimeters) set in 1998.

The pounding rain in the coastal city came coupled with a morning high tide.

The Charleston Fire Department said it responded to 12 incidents in which vehicles were sinking. The department also helped relocate 13 people from vehicles or floodwaters.

High winds blew out several windows at a tire business and ripped off roofing sheet metal there and at two adjacent businesses, while also snapping off the top of a power pole, according to the National Weather Service. In North Charleston, the ceiling of a church collapsed under heavy rainfall, the weather service added.

The vice president of the tire company whose building was damaged, Bill Sekula of Hay Tire Pros, told WCSC-TV that part of the ceiling also collapsed on the inside.

“I guess it was like a microburst or something to that effect, but apparently it was raining harder than usual and then the windows started to buckle and snapped over. These windows on the side just kind of came apart and came out of the building,” Sekula told the news station.

Authorities in Charleston did not immediately report any injuries due to the storms and flooding.