Coastal storm topples trees, knocks out power to thousands in Beaufort County

High wind toppled trees, knocking out power to nearly 2,000, while prolonged rain and high surf caused minor flooding and beach erosion in southern Beaufort County on Monday.

The National Weather Service in Charleston issued a high-surf advisory, which is in effect until 11 a.m. today. A flash flood watch was in effect until 11 p.m. Monday.

Parts of southeastern South Carolina received 2 to 4 inches of rain Monday, according to the weather service.

Showers and thunderstorms could add another quarter- to half-inch of rain across the area this afternoon, the weather service said. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms is also in the forecast for Wednesday.

"At this time, we're just monitoring what the conditions might be, but we're not planning on doing anything outside of our normal operations," said Joheida Fister, spokeswoman for the Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division.

Winds of 40 mph toppled trees as large as 12 inches in diameter and knocked down large limbs on Daufuskie Island, causing scattered power outages. One tree fell over a power line and caused a small fire at the corner of Old Haig Point and Cooper River Landing roads around 4 p.m., according to Daufuskie Island Fire Chief Edward Boys.

SCE&G technicians responded to 12 incidents in Beaufort County that left 1,919 customers without power. As of 6 p.m. power had been restored to all but 45 customers, according to company spokesman Robert Yanity. Palmetto Electric Cooperative had no outages in southern Beaufort County, according to spokeswoman Missy Santorum.

Hilton Head Fire & Rescue responded to three calls of downed trees Monday.

Bluffton Township Fire District Capt. Richard Dollahan said fire crews responded to a fallen tree that downed power lines at about 1:45 p.m. near Pritchardville.

Minor flooding and beach erosion were reported along Daufuskie Island's coast. No flooding or significant beach erosion was reported on Hilton Head.

"We noticed about 10 feet of beach has washed away in pocketed areas since last Wednesday," Boys said of Daufuskie.

Waves of 4 to 6 feet, with swells of 8 to 10 feet, slammed into a sea wall built in the late 1980s near Melrose Club resort.

"We're having quite a bit of erosion along our sea wall, primarily along holes 16, 17 and 18," said Nick Bright, superintendent at Melrose Golf Course. "The sea wall is taking a beating. It was designed to have beach all the way up to the wall. Now, the entire wall is exposed, and there's nothing holding the ocean back."

The seawall protects much of Daufuskie's shoreline, but it ends just before homes on Driftwood Cottage Lane, where water has already overtaken undeveloped front-row beach lots, washed over the road, taken the front porch of one cottage and eroded underneath houses next door, Bright said.

Reporter Cassie Foss contributed to this story.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/EyeOnHiltonHead

Related Content

  1. The National Weather Service
  2. SCE&G power outage map