Beaufort News

North of Broad River mayors assess hurricane damage

Lady’s Island-St. Helena Island Fire District firefighters worked Saturday to begin clearing roads on Lady’s Island.
Lady’s Island-St. Helena Island Fire District firefighters worked Saturday to begin clearing roads on Lady’s Island. Submitted by Lady’s Island-St. Helena Island Fire District

The mayors of Beaufort and Port Royal contended Saturday with flooding and downed trees and power lines in their communities but said they were addressing the problems as quickly as possible.

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said although he hadn’t done extensive venturing into the city, he hadn’t heard any specific regions that were under particular distress.

He said downed trees and power lines were the biggest issues throughout the city. There was some flooding, but “our stormwater system worked,” he said.

The city made progress Saturday clearing main roads and routes to the hospital, Keyserling said, adding that once streets can be cleared, power lines can be fixed.

Keyserling said he’s most concerned that folks stay safe and follow the city’s curfew to help ensure their safety, stressing, “Stay home.”

In Port Royal, Mayor Sam Murray said flooding near The Sands was the biggest issue on Saturday, with downed trees and power lines also a main concern.

He said town roads were slowly becoming passable throughout the day, allowing power-repair crews access.

Follow are some observations and information about the situation Saturday in the Beaufort-Port Royal area, compiled by a reporter from The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette:

▪  Utility trucks worked on power lines near the Beaufort County Government Complex on Ribaut Road.

▪  The city’s Mossy Oaks area was among its most affected, with trees blocking key thoroughfares and creating dangerous situations with power lines at First Boulevard and on Mossy Oaks Road.

▪  Part of First Boulevard remained blocked with caution tape.

▪  The neighborhood experienced flooding, with at least a block under water, as did other areas the city had identified before the storm, Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Chief Reece Bertholf said. The department had five 911 calls to respond to, all minor accidents, after firefighters and EMTs were cleared to head out after the storm, Bertholf said.

▪  A tree fell on Praise Assembly Church in Port Royal, damaging the roof. Trees littered the town’s Naval Heritage Park and the Cypress Wetlands, damaging the wetlands’ walkway.

▪  Part of Parris Island Gateway was closed to traffic Saturday.

▪  Port Royal Police Department parked its patrol cars at the pump across the street from its building on Paris Avenue.

▪  Standing water on Robert Smalls Parkway blocked southbound lanes in spots.

▪  Water pooled in front of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and spilled onto Trask Parkway. A tree lay on a power line at the Kmart store on Boundary Street.

▪  On St. Helena Island, parts of Sea Island Parkway were flooded and trees were down across the road. Access to Harbor Island, Hunting Island and Fripp Island was barricaded, Fripp resident Kate Olin said.