- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The latest on the rain storm affecting South Carolina this weekend (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Gov. Nikki Haley says people going to the Clemson game against Notre Dame on Saturday should expect standing traffic and road detours.

The Clemson graduate said Friday she knows “football fans in South Carolina take that football seriously,” so “it’s your call as to whether you decide to go.”

But Haley says drivers will encounter very slow traffic going in and out of Clemson.

She reminds fans the sold-out game is being broadcast on TV, “so if you don’t have to go, don’t go.”

Haley is urging people across the state to stay home during expected historic rainfall this weekend.

The Clemson athletic department said the 12th-ranked team’s contest with No. 6 Notre Dame remains on schedule, despite forecasts of up to a foot of rain. The school also said ESPN’s College GameDay is still scheduled for Saturday morning on campus.


4:30 p.m.

Gov. Nikki Haley is urging South Carolina residents to prepare for historic rainfalls this weekend that will bring extensive flooding and power outages.

Haley said Friday that people who live in low-lying areas need to go ahead and leave. Shelters will open as needed. Otherwise, she says residents should stay at home and off roads.

Forecasters expect up to 14 inches of rain to fall in the Midlands and up to 12 inches in the rest of the state.

Haley expects power outages to last longer than the winter storms that paralyzed South Carolina in early 2014 because power lines will be under water.

The Department of Transportation is already closing roads in preparation.

Haley says 1,000 National Guardsman are working this weekend, and 150,000 sandbags are ready to be distributed. She says more are on the way, as emergency officials believe more will be needed.


11:50 a.m.

Heavy rains have prompted a flood warning for both the Great Pee Dee River and Black Creek affecting areas in Marion, Florence and Darlington counties in South Carolina.

The National Weather Service warns that while the Great Pee Dee River at Pee Dee was at only 5.7 feet Friday morning, it’s expected to rise quickly and surpass flood stage of 19 feet by Sunday afternoon. The river is expected to keep rising and reach 23 feet by the middle of next week.

Forecasters say the flooding will affect timber operations in the area and that is equipment not moved before the flood will be trapped until water levels recede.


10:43 a.m.

Forecasters are warning residents who live in the foothills and mountains of South Carolina to be wary of landslides over the next day or so.

The National Weather Service says the threat is greatest Friday night through Saturday and rainfall amounts between 5 and 10 inches could cause flash flooding along creeks and streams.

Forecasters warn the heavy rains in areas that have already seen a lot of rain could cause landslides sending debris including trees, rocks and mud down hillsides. Landslides can be deadly and have the potential to wash away bridges, homes and roads. Residents are advised to closely monitor the storm and be prepared to head to shelter quickly.


10:07 a.m.

Charleston is giving residents a place to park their cars in case streets flood in the heavy rains forecast for the weekend.

The city announced Friday that all city parking garages will be open free of charge through Sunday evening so residents can move their cars. Flooding is expected through the weekend around the time of high tide.

The National Weather Service reports that 3.14 inches of rain fell in downtown Charleston on Thursday, a record for the date. Rainfall for the year is now more than 6 inches above normal for the city.


8:00 a.m.

Forecasters are warning of the potential for rip currents along the South Carolina coast as a storm system brings heavy rains to the state.

The National Weather Service says there is a high risk of rip currents on the coast through Friday night from Charleston southwest into Georgia. There could also be rough surf and beach erosion.

Of course, it’s not going to be a good day for swimming anyway what with rain expected through the day and around 10 inches expected in the Beaufort area by the end of the weekend.


7:25 a.m.

Charleston is bracing for the rains expected to inundate the area during the next couple of days.

Charleston city and county offices are closed Friday as are area public schools and local universities. The City Market, a popular tourist draw in the city’s historic district, is also closed. The market area sometimes floods during heavy summer thunderstorms.

There were few problems, however, during the morning commute in Charleston. Traffic was generally light because of the closings and there was only a sprinkling of rain. But road flooding was expected to be a problem in the city about the time of high tide at midday.


6:45 a.m.

The National Weather Service says historic rainfall and life-threatening flooding is possible in South Carolina this weekend.

Forecasters said Friday morning that moisture moving north from Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN’) is combining with a strong low pressure system and a stalled front offshore to produce heavy rain in the state.

Forecasters say from 9 to 15 inches of rain is expected along the south coast. Flooding possibilities will be worst at times of high tide. From 5 to 10 inches of rain is expected elsewhere in South Carolina before the rain stops.

Street flooding already is blocking streets in downtown Charleston. Conditions were expected to worsen Friday night and extend until Sunday.

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