MEAN HIGH WATERFlooding in Charleston

Mean High Water (MHW) is a project documenting the impacts of sea level rise & flooding in and beyond the South Carolina Lowcountry. The title is in reference to the MHW tidal datum defined and maintained by the NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Service.
The tides of Charleston Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean are increasingly encroaching into the natural and built environment of Charleston and the Lowcountry. The rate of increase in the number of coastal flood events is alarming. Approximately 53.3% of all coastal floods observed in Charleston Harbor from 1921 through 2022 have occurred since 2010. An average of 18.8 coastal floods occurred per year in the 1990s. In the 2010s, the annual average was 42.4 coastal floods2, an increase of over 200%.

MHW was started in 2020 by photographer and engineer Jared Bramblett. This is intended to be an evolving and collaborative documentation of the impacts of flooding. If you are interested in participating, please reach out.
Jared Bramblett

All thoughts and opinions presented on this site are solely those of the author and are not necessarily those of any other organization.

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© 2024 Jared Bramblett
Tidal Flood Records & Statistics
Charleston Harbor, Cooper River Entrance1

Coastal Floods (>7-ft MLLW)2
  1. 89 (2019)
  2. 75 (2023)
  3. 70 (2022)
  4. 68 (2020)
  5. 58 (2015)

Major Coastal Floods (>8-ft MLLW)2
  1. 7 (2020)
  2. 6 (2023, 2015)
  3. 4 (2021, 2019)
  4. 3 (2022, 2018)
  5. 2 (2009, 1947)

Peak Tide Crests (ft, MLLW)3
  1. 12.52-ft 09/22/1989 (Hugo)
  2. 10.23-ft 08/11/1940
  3. 09.92-ft 09/11/2017 (Irma)
  4. 09.86-ft 12/17/2023 (Nor’easter)
  5. 09.29-ft 10/08/2016 (Matthew)

Statistics current as of 08/31/2023

Sea Level Rise Trend (1901-2022)1

Sea level trend of 1.13-ft per 100 years (1901-2022)

1 Tidal Benchmark Station - Charleston, Cooper River Entrance, SC - Station ID: 8665530

2 NWS Coastal Flood Event Database

3 Advanced Hydrologic Predictions Service, Charleston, SC
2023/09/17 - Stormwater Flooding

Morris St. at Jasper St.
Romney St at Nassau St.
Line St. at Aiken St.
Indian St.
Gordon St.
Strawberry Ln.
Morris St. at Felix St.
Meeting St. at Indian St.
Maple St.
America St. at Reid St.
Piedmont St.
Huger St.
Barre St. at Wentworth St.
Maple St.
Romney St. at Nassau St.
Simons St.
Maple St. at Ashley Ave.
King St.
America St. at Reid St.
Rutledge Ave. at Maple St.
Drake St. at Amherst St.
Morris St.
Kings Plaza
Kings Plaza
Calhoun St. at Rutledge Ave.
Calhoun St. at Ogier St.
Calhoun St.
Calhoun St.
Hannover St.
America St.
Morris St.
Halsey St.