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Old 03-05-2008, 09:50 AM
 
1,708 posts, read 3,512,317 times
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Default Hurricanes

There is a great article in the Post and Courier describing what different catagories could do to the area. I'm posting the link to it to make sure to show where it came from but also the whole article because it will be taken down after today.

In bad hurricane, we get SLOSHed

In bad hurricane, we get SLOSHed

By Tony Bartelme (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Wednesday, March 5, 2008


A Category 2 hurricane would turn much of downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant into a soggy flooded mess, according to special computer-generated maps used by emergency officials.
A Category 3 storm surge, meanwhile, would flood all but a few patches of higher ground east of the Cooper and turn Savannah Highway into Savannah Causeway.
And a Category 5? Break out the snorkels.
Wet and Wetter

View the map of which areas would flood in different hurricane-intensity scenarios.

The National Hurricane Center generates these storm surge maps using the little-known but well-named computer model called SLOSH, which stands for Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes.
Government agencies then use the SLOSH data to decide which areas to evacuate and when.
A poster of an interactive version of the model is being displayed at the federal Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference in Charleston this week. The version allows users to single out individual landmarks and get a vertical look at how deep the water would be at that landmark. The model is in development.
Hurricanes are notoriously fickle and can arrive in an infinite number of directions, speeds and tidal levels. This makes predictions of their impacts just as tricky.
Still, a SLOSH map obtained by The Post and Courier and generated for a hypothetical direct hit on Charleston provides an intriguing snapshot of how the city might fare in certain hurricane scenarios. It's also a bit of a reality check for Hurricane Hugo veterans.
When Hugo spun into South Carolina, the storm's sustained winds in downtown Charleston were 87 mph with a 108-mph gust, and a 10.4-foot storm surge in the harbor.
By most measures, Hugo put downtown Charleston in Category 1 and 2 conditions. It was a different story in the Francis Marion National Forest, 30 miles north of downtown. There, winds were at Category 4 levels 130 mph and higher. The storm surge in McClellanville hit 19 feet, so high that shelter seekers in Lincoln High School nearly drowned.
Partly because of Hugo and the Lincoln High School incident, the National Hurricane Center created SLOSH to simulate storm surges for different hurricane intensities and directions, said Doug Marcy, a scientist at National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center in Charleston.
The newspaper obtained SLOSH calculations for a hurricane with an eye coming in south of Kiawah Island. This reflects more of a worst-case scenario for the city because surges are higher in a storm's northeastern quadrant.
In a Category 1 storm, a surge of 7 to 10 feet would have a relatively minor effect on the area, the calculations show.
Floodwaters would fill the area's marshes and low-lying areas on the peninsula and the sea islands. But parts of the Isle of Palms and other barrier islands would still remain above water.
That changes dramatically in a Category 2 storm with a surge of 12 feet. In this scenario, the barrier islands all but disappear and most of downtown Charleston and James Island flood.
In Mount Pleasant, the only dry ground would be along Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, which is built on an ancient sand ridge. In this Category 2 scenario, floodwaters would begin to march into North Charleston toward Park Circle. And for the first time since it was developed, most of Daniel Island would temporarily lose its island status and become a seabed.
In Category 3 surge, most of West Ashley goes under water, along with a few specks of downtown Charleston.
In a Category 4 scenario, a 15- to 20-foot surge inundates much of Johns Island, while floodwaters on the Charleston Neck are neck deep.
A Category 5 scenario? Some parts of Charleston would be under more water than the low areas of New Orleans after Katrina.
Forecasters caution that SLOSH maps aren't perfect. They say the calculations have a 20 percent margin of error, and they also don't take into account tides, which could add or subtract a few feet of surge depending on a hurricane's timing.
Still, they offer an important lesson: For much of the immediate Charleston metro area, Hugo wasn't a worst-case scenario.
"Hugo was an awful storm but had it moved south and come in over Kiawah, we could have had 18 to 20 feet of storm surge, instead of the 10 feet we got on its backside," Marcy said.
Reach Tony Bartelme at tbartelme@postandcourier.com or 937-5554.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
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How many actual hurricanes have hit Charleston in the last 100 years. It isn't as common as NC is it??? I would think because of how the coastline actually geographically reccesses further doen the SC coast that many hurricanes on their way up the coast slam into NC as they pass by Charleston. Just curious...
Patty
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattig View Post
How many actual hurricanes have hit Charleston in the last 100 years. It isn't as common as NC is it??? I would think because of how the coastline actually geographically reccesses further doen the SC coast that many hurricanes on their way up the coast slam into NC as they pass by Charleston. Just curious...
Patty
You are correct. North Carolina gets many more.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
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I'd be more concerned about a Category 5 hitting the Mid-Atlantic coast line. New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey would be devastated. Areas like Philadelphia and Coastal New England would also feel a pretty huge burden. Altogether tens of millions of people could be displaced!
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:45 PM
 
Location: North Charleston, SC
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I thought the article was a little strange. It actually was the lead story on their home page this morning. It didn't tell me anything other than what already seems to be common knowledge. Maybe I missed something.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWB View Post
I'd be more concerned about a Category 5 hitting the Mid-Atlantic coast line. New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey would be devastated. Areas like Philadelphia and Coastal New England would also feel a pretty huge burden. Altogether tens of millions of people could be displaced!
I would be very surprised if a cat 5 ever hit that area because the water is much cooler the further north a storm goes which in turn decreases the wind speed's.

As to the post about NC getting more storms, it does because it sticks out further into the Atlantic.

I'm guessing the reason this article was the lead story is because there was some type of hurricane conference here the past few days. The main reason I posted it was to give the people that have moved here since hurricane Hugo a visual of what each category could cause. We are regularly asked on this board about flooding in different areas caused by hurricane's so when I read this I thought it would be a good thing to post.

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to devastate an area.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
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True....and we have been VERY lucky for many years. We can't let our guard down and think that another Hugo can't come our way. I stayed for that one and the roof was torn off the friends' home I was in, my car was crushed by an oak tree, trees went through the windows and roof of the school where I taught, and my church had extensive water damage...then NO POWER or safe drinking water for weeks. There were tanks, armed National Guard soldiers, police, etc. patrolling James Island because of the looters and live electric lines everywhere - it was like a war zone.

Ok, enough of the flashbacks! (Let's just say, it was SCARY). We just need to remember that we are long overdue for a major hurricane - not that I want one and not that we need one, but we need to be prepared and stay informed 'cause we never know when it will be our turn again!

Last edited by SCBeaches; 03-05-2008 at 09:42 PM..
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Summerville
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No two hurricanes are alike. When Floyd passed through North Carolina in 1999 it dumped over 23 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. I evacuated during it and couldn't get back to my home for a week and then I had to take the back roads because I-40 was underwater. Floyd didn't do much damage wind wise, but the widespread flooding lasted for weeks and thousands of people lost their homes and 57 lost their lives. So when I see something like this I don't take it lightly.

Charleston didn't have the neighborhoods and homes built back when Hugo hit to the same degree as they do today. All those neighborhoods built along the river and marshes weren't there, so really it is going to be wait and see type thing as to how something like this plays out. Charleston is literally surrounded with water. My guess is, if or when it ever comes, it won't be pretty.

Last edited by scjj; 03-06-2008 at 07:45 AM.. Reason: added
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:53 AM
 
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Great posts SCBeaches and scjj!!

SCBeaches....Ahhh the flashbacks.

scjj.....Was it Floyd that sat on NC and dumped all that rain? I'm having a case of CRS this morning. lol Daniel Island didn't have anything on it when Hugo hit. Like you, with all of the neighborhoods that have been built along marshes and river's I'm concerned with what will happen to them. Hopefully people will evacuate when one heads this way.

Last edited by Luvsdabeach; 03-06-2008 at 07:57 AM.. Reason: Added
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Summerville
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There were a couple that stalled out. Bonnie being one of them that sat and churned on the area for a day or two. Floyd was HUGE, something like 500 miles wide. I have never heard or seen rain so hard in my life. We had just had hurricane Dennis a couple of weeks before and we were already saturated.
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