A Quiet, Record Setting JanuaryFebruary 4, 2021
January 2021 seemed like a quiet month for coastal (tidal) flooding. There were five (5) tides that exceeded the 7-ft MLLW coastal flood threshold, with the highest only reaching 7.05-ft. The impacts from these events were relatively minor, and mitigation measures implemented over the past few years prevented impacts in low-lying areas of Eastside and Harleston Village. There were still some inundation along Hagood Avenue in Westside and possibly along US Highway 61 near the Ashley River Bridges.
January has historically been a quiet month for tidal flooding. Reviewing the NOAA Coastal Flood Event Database, the five (5) flood tides of January 2021 were actually record setting. Prior, the most flood tides observed in the harbor were four (4) in 1983, 1999, and 2016. The graph below shows the number of tidal flood events during the month of January since 1922. So while the impacts of coastal flooding in January 2021 were minor, the frequency of the flooding is increasing. There were no coastal floods recorded in January until 1980, and since then there have been 47. The last January where we didn’t record tidal flooding was eight (8) years ago in 2013.