Edisto Beach dodges Flo
by The Press and Standard | September 20, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: September 18, 2018 at 3:56 pm
By CINDY CROSBY
Luckily, Edisto Beach caught a hurricane break when Florence stayed north and spared the re-nourished beach. Escaping with few effects from the dangerous Hurricane Florence, Edisto Beach residents and visitors returned home following a mandatory evacuation by Governor Henry McMaster to find little or no damage from the storm.
“We had four or five areas along the beach which had runover during high tide,” said Mayor Jane Darby on Sunday afternoon. “Other than that, we had limited beach erosion, lost a few signs and suffered a little damage along the causeway at high tide.”
The governor first ordered the evacuation of Edisto Beach, located within Zone A in Colleton County, last Tuesday Sept. 11. According to Darby, approximately 75-80 homeowners chose to remain on Edisto Beach initially. By Thursday Sept. 13, approximately half of the remaining residents chose to evacuate as models began shifting Florence’s track south along the South Carolina coastline. Edisto Beach officials, in coordination with Colleton County Council, also implemented a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. to keep citizens safe and protect property owners.
The governor lifted the evacuation order for Edisto Beach effective Saturday Sept. 15 at noon.
“The evacuation went smoothly,” said Darby. “It was a difficult week preparing and planning for a storm that was making constant changes. It was a very unpredictable storm with no pattern — something we had not seen before.”
According to Darby, Edisto Beach never lost electricity and is now in the process of reversing all procedures put into place in the face of the hurricane.
“We were most fortunate this time,” said Darby. “We learned we have a good plan that was instituted flawlessly. Our staff feels like we are prepared should we face any more storms. Colleton County and the State of South Carolina made things so easy to deal with the threat of Florence. Storm preparations were handled with a high degree of professionalism, and we knew they cared about us. It was quite an encouraging experience.”
Florence made landfall near Wilmington, N.C., as a Category 1 storm in the early hours Friday morning. Battering North Carolina and bringing a 6-10-foot storm surge, Florence was soon downgraded to a tropical storm, which then trekked into South Carolina bringing heavy rains and flooding. As of late Sunday morning, Florence was centered about 40 miles west of Columbia, according to the National Hurricane Center, and was moving west at 10 mph with 35 mph winds.