While the worst predicted high tide passed early Monday afternoon, Beaufort County will see Tropical Storm Irma’s effects linger on into Monday evening.
Wind gusts as high as 66 mph have already been reported in Beaufort County. Fort Pulaski’s tidal gauge, the closest instrument to measure storm surge in Beaufort County, recorded 12.24 feet earlier Monday, just slightly less than the 12.5 feet recorded during Hurricane Matthew last fall. A tropical storm warning, flash flood warning, storm surge warning are still in effect.
More than 37,000 customers were without power countywide, according to power company representatives.
Reporters and photographers for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette are embedded with first responders throughout Beaufort County. Click the link to each person’s Facebook page to see videos of the places they’ve visited Monday. Here’s what they’re seeing:
Lucas High, embedded with the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department, reported waves lapping over the sea wall at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, cars submerged in the parking lot at the downtown marina, and the tops of fire hydrants barely poked above flood waters along side streets. Traffic lights that are out should be treated as a four-way stop, officials said.
Alex Kincaid, embedded with Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue, reported waist-deep water near some parts of Harbour Town. While driving around the island with battalion chief Kevin Osterstock she stopped at Mitchelville Beach and Spanish Wells Road. Fire chief Brad Tadlock said Singleton Beach Road is under two feet of water.
Maggie Angst, another reporter on Hilton Head Island, reported live from Coligny Beach during high tide. She showed a glimpse of how strong the winds were on Monday morning around 7 a.m. near Singleton Beach, flooding near Hudson’s around 10:45 a.m., a tour of Shipyard Plantation Monday afternoon and a peek at Shelter Cove Marina. A Hudson’s employee offered the following advice: “If you’re near the water, get the heck away from it.”
Wade Livingston, embedded with Lady's Island-St. Helena Fire District, reported that personnel pulled off the roads because of high sustained winds Monday around 11 a.m., but returned around 12:30 p.m. Numerous fallen trees, flooded roads and inundated causeways were visible on his several drives with first responders. Livingston also took readers to Factory Creek boat landing and Lady's Island Marina.
Jay Karr took readers to South Forest Beach, Harbour Town and Sea Pines Plantation.
Caitlin Turner, embedded with Bluffton Township Fire District, reported the entrance ramp to U.S. 278 eastbound from S.C. 170 is closed due to flooding. Near the Alljoy boat landing, roads are flooded almost up to folks’ knees. She also visited Palmetto Bluff and Bluffton Oyster Factory, both of which experienced flooding. Echoing pleas from law enforcement, Turner said, “If you’re home, stay home. You shouldn’t be driving.”
Delayna Earley, also embedded with Bluffton’s fire department, took readers to Alljoy Landing, which was flooded.
To see what Beaufort County residents are reporting in each neighborhood, click here. To send your own photos and videos, tweet them to @islandpacket, email firstname.lastname@example.org or share them on our Facebook page.