Hilton Head Fire Rescue clear downed tree
Just before sunrise on Thursday, there were reports of Hurricane Dorian’s damage across Beaufort County.
Just before sunrise, firefighters with Burton Fire District responded to a mobile home fire on Bonaire Circle near Shell Point. The building was in flames and being fed by the wind when firefighters arrived around 4:45 a.m.
Beaufort City Council member Stephen Murray said in a Facebook post there was little water on the roads in downtown Beaufort just after high tide about 2:30 a.m. in areas that had flooded during storms in past years.
“Still breezy with wind increasing, but hopefully less flooding than what was predicted,” Murray wrote.
Hilton Head Fire & Rescue Division called off service for the island at 1:55 a.m. Thursday morning, citing high winds associated with Hurricane Dorian.
The department planned to restart service around sunrise Thursday, according to fire chief Brad Tadlock.
In the hours when crews were not responding, the department was cataloging calls and prioritizing which ones they would respond to first. Medical calls and downed trees that block roads were the first priority, operations chief Chris Blankenship said.
One tree was down over Hospital Center Boulevard, and another was down across Main Street at Brookdale.
On Wednesday, the department evacuated the three lowest-lying fire stations to the base camp at University of South Carolina campus in Bluffton. Four stations remained operational.
Once it’s safe to cross the bridge, those crews will come to the island and help with cleanup, according to Blankenship.
A station at the Hilton Head Island Airport recorded sustained winds of 36 mph and 58 mph gusts, according to fire rescue.
Bluffton Township Fire District had no emergency calls after midnight.
As of 5 a.m., Hurricane Dorian was a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds and was moving north at 8 mph. It was located about 80 miles south-southeast of Charleston.
Beaufort County remained under a hurricane warning and a storm surge warning, with the potential for strong wind and life-threatening storm surge, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.
This story will be updated.
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