CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Charleston began initial preparations Monday for potential impacts Hurricane Ian may have on the Lowcountry later this week.

Charleston leaders say right now the primary threat to the Charleston area is expected to be heavy rainfall Thursday night into Friday which could lead to flooding.

Forecasters say six to eight inches of rainfall is projected between Wednesday and Sunday. “Locally higher amounts and substantial rainfall rates may occur,” the city said.

Coastal flooding could begin as early as Wednesday and may worsen through Thursday and Friday as the storm passes through the region. It will be accompanied by gusty winds, possibly tropical storm force, and a threat of tornadoes.

The city’s Stormwater Department is working to reserve temporary pumps which they will position in low-lying areas, and crews are working to clean ditches and drains in flood-prone areas.

The Parks Department is working to lower water levels in Lake Dotterer and Colonial Lake.

“Although it is too early to know what the impacts of Hurricane Ian will be on the city, citizens should begin to prepare now,” said City of Charleston Emergency Management director Ben Almquist. “Make sure your family has a plan and emergency supplies in place, and continue to monitor the path of the storm.”

Charleston city leaders say they are working closely with state and regional leaders to monitor the storm’s track and coordinate preparedness efforts.