The first storm of the hurricane season didn't leave much of a mark on Beaufort County, save a few power outages and downed tree limbs.
Tropical Storm Andrea quickly passed through the county, with the core of the storm reaching Bluffton at 4:15 a.m. Friday. By 8:15 a.m., it had passed. By mid-morning, the sun was out.
Despite predictions that Andrea would bring heavy rain, strong winds and isolated tornadoes, the storm didn't pack much of a punch, weakening as it passed through Florida on its way here. Andrea dropped 2 to 3 inches of rain on Beaufort County within 24 hours and its winds gusted between 35 and 40 mph, National Weather Service meteorologist Emily Temte said.
Beaufort County Emergency Management was off alert and back to normal operations shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, and the weather service lifted the tropical storm warning and flash-flood watch by 1 p.m.
The county received 14 reports of downed branches or fallen trees, according to county emergency management director Todd Ferguson. Flooding temporarily closed two roads, he said. William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island was covered Thursday afternoon between Folly Field and Singleton Beach roads, and Sheppard Road on Lady's Island flooded Thursday night.
"It certainly was a good rehearsal for us to make sure we had the plans," Ferguson said. "We had them in place; we had the proper personnel to do what they need to do. ... It's only by the grace of God that we didn't end up with more damage. You look to the south of us in Florida, and they had 10 to 12 tornadoes."
Part of Beaufort County was briefly under a tornado warning, at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, as radar indicated a possible tornado or waterspout near Lands End in northern Beaufort County, moving north. However, no tornado or waterspout was confirmed, and the warning was lifted at 9:45 p.m., according to Temte.
Power outages Thursday night were the most conspicuous marks left by Andrea.
About 2,500 customers in Bluffton lost electricity just after 8:30 p.m., but power was restored an hour later, according to SCE&G spokesman Robert Yanity. He said the company continued to respond to scattered outages into Friday morning, but power was restored in nearly every case by Friday afternoon.
Palmetto Electric reported on its website at 6:30 a.m. Friday 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 was reported on the site.
Bluffton Township Fire District Battalion Chief Todd Malphrus said early Friday 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."
Beaufort/Port Royal, Burton and Lady's Island fire department officials said they had no major storm-related calls either.
By 11 a.m. Friday, temperatures were heading into the 80s and skies were bright -- good news for students with an unexpected day off because of the storm. The Beaufort County School District canceled classes Friday because of the Andrea's threat, pushing back the last day of school to Monday.
Staff writer Erin Moody contributed to this report.
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.