Irma’s uneventful visit to Walterboro | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | September 14, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 13, 2017 at 10:30 am
“We were extremely blessed,” Walterboro Fire Chief Wayne Lake said as he assessed Tropical Storm Irma’s time spent in the city.
“We had about three or four calls for down power lines and fire alarms,” Lake said.
The Monday afternoon winds triggered the fire alarms in some structures.
The radio tower at the fire department’s main station holds a wind gauge that lets fire department personnel know how hard the wind is blowing.
The gauge recorded gusts of 35 and 40 miles per hours in the early afternoon on Sept. 11.
Lake said the winds and rain that came through Walterboro were similar to a heavy rainstorm.
The fire department monitors the wind to determine if it is safe to respond to a call — it was never too high to keep the fire trucks off the roads.
Lake said all the city’s firefighters were working Monday and the department went through its normal prep work, preparing for the worst. The prep work went really smoothly.
The Walterboro Police Department was also ready as Hurricane Irma made its way north.
A full compliment of sworn officers, including investigators and command staff were stationed at the police department.
Walterboro Police Department Public Information Officer Amye Stivender said, “We had a few calls not related to the storm.”
The high winds, she added, caused a few traffic lights to malfunction and officers were sent to the affected intersections to handle traffic control.
A few of the traffic lights, Stivender said, were still malfunctioning Tuesday morning.
The weather conditions on Sept. 11 did not cause Ivanhoe Creek to climb over its banks. Walterboro Utilities Director Wayne Crosby said the rain gauge at the city’s sewer plant recorded 4.75 inches of rain between 8 p.m. Sept. 10 and 8 p.m. Sept. 11. Most of that rain hit the city in the early afternoon.
City Manager Jeff Molinari took a look at how Walterboro weathered the storm and said, “We made out pretty well.”