Newsmaker of the Year: 2018 was the year our changing climate became impossible to ignore in South Carolina

‘Extreme’ hurricanes, floods took their toll across our state as Charleston became ground zero for the threats of climate change

This year, coastal erosion accelerated. Record tidal floods swamped miles of shoreline. Flooding was catastrophic from Hurricane Florence, and the storm almost became the most powerful hurricane ever to make landfall in South Carolina.

Climate records are being broken with increasing frequency as air and seas warm. It’s become the new norm, researchers say. The ultimate costs will be exorbitant.

And Charleston is quickly becoming Ground Zero for the threats. In response, the city is taking the lead among coastal communities in the state and region to try to prepare — not so surprising for a place facing 180 days per year of tidal flooding by 2045, according to federal estimates.

Only 24 tides have topped 8 feet in Charleston Harbor during the past century without tropical storm influence. Three of them arrived in the past month.

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