Tropical Storm Andrea lost steam as it passed through Beaufort County, causing some power outages and downing some tree limbs but imparting no severe damage.
By 12:45 p.m. today, the National Weather Service had dropped a tropical storm warning and a flash-flood watch. Beaufort County Emergency Management returned to normal operations shortly before 10 a.m.
“Tropical Storm Andrea brought Beaufort County some wind and rain, but luckily there was no significant damage," Todd Ferguson, director of Beaufort County Emergency Management, said in a news release.
The storm’s core passed over the Bluffton area at about 4:15 a.m. today, moving northeast. By 5 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Andrea was about 50 miles west-southwest of Charleston, or about 30 miles northeast of Savannah. By 8:15 a.m., the storm was largely past the Beaufort area, National Weather Service alert and metereoloist Emily Temte said.
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By 11 a.m., the sun was peeking through the clouds.
As Andrea lashed Florida late Thursday — bringing rain, heavy winds, and tornadoes —Beaufort County officials braced for heavy rains and high winds. Winds gusted between 35 and 40 miles per hour Thursday night, and about two to three inches of rain fell across Beaufort County in a 24-hour period, Temte said.
But Bluffton Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Malphrus early Thursday that the department had no major storm calls overnight, except for power outages caused when transformers near Bridge and Pritchard streets blew out.
“We really had nothing major,” Malphrus said. “It was just normal calls for us.”
Burton and Lady’s Island fire departments reported no major problems or significant storm-related emergencies from the storm, either. Nor did the Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department, according to spokesman John Robinson. His department received a few calls for downed wires, fallen limbs in roads and standing water, but he said there was no significant damage.
About 2,500 SCE&G customers lost power Thursday night, according to utility spokesman Robert Yanity. The outage occurred about 8:30 p.m., he said. It had been restored by Friday morning.
However, minor, scattered outages were still being reported throughout the day Friday, at various times in Ridgeland, Seabrook, Beaufort, Lady's Island and St. Helena Island, according to the SCE&G website.
Palmetto Electric reported on its website at 6:30 a.m.that four customers were without power near the northern end of Hilton Head Island, but by 7:45 a.m., their service had been restored. By mid-day, only one outage affecting two Hilton Head customers were reported on the site.
Part of the county was briefly under a tornado warning at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, as radar indicated possible tornado or waterspout near Lands End, moving north. However, no tornado or waterspout was confirmed, and the warning was lifted at 9:45 p.m.
The Beaufort County School District cancelled classes today because of the storm’s threat, although Beaufort High School’s graduation ceremony went on as planned Thursday and Whale Branch Early College High School’s ceremony is still scheduled for tonight. The school day will be made up Monday. Friday was supposed to be the last day of school for students, who were only attending for half a day.