Beaufort News

King tides give Lowcountry a break Wednesday

Hilton Head restaurant Hudson's Seafood battles another day of high tides

Andrew Carmines, owner of Hudson's Seafood House on the Dock restaurant, talks about the second day of king tides that seeped into the seafood restaurant Oct. 28, 2015.
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Andrew Carmines, owner of Hudson's Seafood House on the Dock restaurant, talks about the second day of king tides that seeped into the seafood restaurant Oct. 28, 2015.
The "king tides" that caused widespreading flooding throughout coastal Beaufort County Tuesday abdicated their thrones on Wednesday.

While high tides and minor flooding persisted Wednesday morning, it was not nearly as severe as the day before, weather officials and residents said.

Despite the improving tidal conditions, the area is not in the clear yet.

National Weather Service meteorologist Carl Barnes said high tides and minor flooding could continue through the week, gradually tapering off by Sunday.

Barnes said Tuesday's high tide was the third highest recorded locally since the weather service began keeping those records in 1935.

"It was a truly impressive high tide. We got reports of flooding in a lot of areas all across the Lowcountry that are not typically prone to coastal flooding," he said.

Here's a look at how the tides impacted areas around the county on Wednesday:

ON HILTON HEAD:

As the tide began to recede around 11 a.m. Wednesday, Harbour Town assistant harbormaster Leslie Whitener was counting her blessings.

Unlike Tuesday, "we had no encroaching water during high tide," she said. "We had no problems, so today was a good day."

On Tuesday, water crept over the wharf wall at Shelter Cove but caused no real damage, dockmaster Jason Wheeler said.

Wednesday's high tide was less severe.

"Everything is great today. We didnt have to worry as much as we did yesterday," he said.

At Hudson's Seafood on the Docks, some water crept into the restaurant Tuesday.

"Yesterday was the worst (high tide) I've ever seen," general manager Andrew Carmines said Wednesday morning. "It was crazy."

There was no significant damage to the restaurant but crews were called in to clean damp carpets.

The restaurant opened on time Wednesday and "had a great lunch," Carmines said.

IN BLUFFTON:

Local fisherman Larry Toomer has worked the May River in Bluffton for decades and said Tuesday's tide "was definitely the highest (he has) ever seen."

The tide submerged his dock at the Bluffton Oyster Company, so work had to be temporarily suspended Tuesday afternoon.

"It was just a little inconvenient having the dock underwater," he said. "But that just lasted a couple of hours - no big deal."

By early Wednesday afternoon the water receded and it was "back to business as usual," Toomer said.

IN BEAUFORT:

For a second consecutive day, the king tides pushed water over the seawall at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. At 10:15 a.m., water had covered a third of the pavers.

The Beaufort Downtown Marina parking lot also again flooded. Water rose about halfway up the tires on cars parked closest to the river.

A portion of King Street in the Point neighborhood in downtown Beaufort flooded and was closed to traffic following Wednesday morning's high tide.

IN PORT ROYAL:

At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, water covered the Port Royal Landing at the Sands beach and crept into the parking lot. The Sands was covered in water almost to the beach entrance and the tide pushed water just under the boardwalk.

ON ST. HELENA ISLAND:

The S.C. Department of Transportation closed a portion of Warsaw Island Road on Wednesday morning due to flooding, Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Bob Bromage said.

It was unclear as of Wedneday afternoon when that section will reopen.

Other than Warsaw Island Road, "everything looks pretty good" along the county's roadways, Bromage said.

ON HUNTING ISLAND:

As of about 10 a.m. Wednesday, some Hunting Island campgrounds were flooding, park manager Daniel Gambrell said.

Campers were moved to drier parts of the island, he said.

While there has been no significant damage, the south beach area of the island is closed "until the tides recede," Gambrell said.

Gambrell said he will assess the situation again Thursday and hopes to reopen the beach within a few days.

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