CHARLESTON, S.C., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Record-breaking rainfall from Hurricane Joaquin prompted flash flood warnings in the Carolinas as the storm's bands continue to stroke the East Coast.
The National Weather Service in Charleston has issued a flash flood warning for central South Carolina and surrounding areas until the end of the weekend. As water levels rise in the region, reports say saltwater flooding will also be a danger near the shore due to high tides and dangerous beach conditions.
Reports indicate 16 inches of rain fell near Little River, S.C., overnight, setting a new 24-hour rainfall record for the state. Popular tourist destination Myrtle Beach previously held the record for a 1999 rainfall report of 14.8 inches from Hurricane Floyd. The unprecedented rainfall event is being described by the service as one that occurs "once in 200 years."
Overnight, several water rescues occurred in North and South Carolina. Amtrak has reportedly suspended some of its services throughout the region in response to the dangerous weather conditions.
Charleston and inland areas to the northwest were expected to see up to an additional 20 inches of rain through Sunday.
The Savannah, Ga., metro area is also under a flash flood watch through Saturday night; the area is also at high risk for rip currents.
The eye of Hurricane Joaquin is currently located well away from the U.S. East Coast although its bands continue to dump massive amounts of rain on the mainland. The NWS reports Joaquin is currently moving northeast at 16 miles per hour and has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. As of Saturday morning, the storm is located almost 600 miles southwest of Bermuda, which is under a hurricane watch.