Some tree damage in Hilton Head’s Port Royal Plantation from Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian lashed Beaufort County from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning with tropical storm-force winds, causing fairly significant tree damage from north end to south end.
Though the storm stayed further off the coast than forecasters predicted, Hilton Head Island had many downed trees early Thursday morning as Dorian continued to deliver damaging wind and rain.
Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue ceased operations at 1:55 a.m. due to weather conditions but began surveying damage and clearing trees at daybreak.
The damage is “less than Matthew, more than Irma” as far as downed trees, Hilton Head fire chief of operations Chris Blankenship said Thursday.
Here are reports from Island Packet reporters and photographers who spanned the island Thursday, surveying storm damage. We will be updating this story throughout the day.
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Hilton Head Plantation: According to the POA, there were about six homes observed from the street side with roof damage from fallen trees, 50 trees down obstructing roadways that were cleared later. No flooding is apparent.
Dolphin Head area:
Seabrook Drive and Dolphin Head Drive:
Crews responded to the downed tree, which was blocking both lanes of traffic on Seabrook Drive just before 8 a.m. The tree appeared to be alive and was about 25 feet long.
The tree blocking Hilton Head Plantation’s main gate was reported just after 8 a.m. and crews cleared it quickly. It was blocking the northbound lane of Whooping Crane Way and cars were using the other side of the street to access Hilton Head Plantation
Myrtle Bank Road:
Port Royal Plantation: General Manager Lance Pyle said that “several” trees were down in Port Royal Plantation, including six that were blocking roadways and had been cleared by Thursday afternoon.” Pyle said there was no apparent flooding or structural damage as of Thursday afternoon.
A downed tree blocked Coggins Point at Fort Walker, near U.S. 278.
Several trees down along Port Royal Drive.
Other north end neighborhoods
Hilton Head hospital area: A large tree, the first reported down on the island on Wednesday morning, blocked two lanes on Hospital Center Boulevard. Fire crews responded to the scene to restore access to the hospital.
Fish Haul Park:
Indigo Run: General manager Don Lucas said crews were still checking for damage and debris Thursday afternoon, but that a couple of trees were down, including one blocking the Berwick Drive entrance to the golf club and one blocking a residential lane.
Lucas said both trees should soon be cleared, and that so far, flooding and structural damage appeared to be minimal.
A tree blocked a lane on Colonial Drive.
Islanders Beach/ Folly Field Beach area: A tree crashed into a fence on Sand Dollar Road. The dunes appeared in tact, but a fence on the beach appeared to be damaged from wind. Minor damage, overall.
Burkes Beach: There was minor flooding on Burkes Beach Road near the beach parking. One tree fell on Burkes Beach road in the front yard of a home.
Palmetto Dunes: Large trees lie on the side of Queens Folly Road, the entrance to Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head Island. The community had 6,000 people without power Thursday morning due to Hurricane Dorian.
“All in all, (Palmetto Dunes) fared pretty well,” Andrew Schumacher, Palmetto Dunes POA CEO, said Thursday afternoon.
He said all roads are open, utilities are operating properly, and besides a few downed trees and a lot of loose vegetative debris, the community is in “very good” shape.
Leamington: Trees snarled in Leamington on Thursday morning. An uprooted tree off Queens Way fell across two yards.
Shelter Cove: Tree down near exit from Shelter Cove to U.S. 278 on Hilton Head Island in the back of the Hickory Tavern parking lot. No other downed trees in the area, but a fair amount of debris on the road and discombobulated storm shutters in the Shelter Cove Towne Centre.
At the Shelter Cove Marina, fallen palm fronds were the biggest issue. All boats in the marina appeared unharmed and most were tied down.
Marshland Road area: A tree blocked Leg’ O Mutton Road Thursday morning.
Firefighters cleared a tree on Marshland Road early Thursday.
Spanish Wells: Firefighters removed a tree partially blocking the road Thursday on Spanish Pointe Drive.
A large tree also sliced through a fence in the Spanish Wells area.
A few blocks away, golfers played at the Spanish Wells golf course. Wind on Bram’s Point was strong well into the afternoon Thursday. One resident said she’d checked homes of several friends and seen a handful of downed trees. None caused any structural damage.
Long Cove: Long Cove Club had moderate debris, but not many downed trees.
The golf course at Long Cove also looked to be realtviely clear of debris, based on a survey from the clubhouse.
Wexford: A home on Castlebridge Court in Wexford Plantation has a few branches down after Hurricane Dorian. Damage in the community was minimal, according to maintenance staff and the harbor master.
John Lawless did his part to help clear a downed tree in Wexford on Jane and Bill Anderson’s property.
Shipyard: Massive amounts of debris littered roads and pathways in Shipyard Plantation Thursday afternoon. There were less downed trees in Shipyard than in other communities on the island.
Coligny Beach area: People were walking on the beach around 8 a.m. and the dunes appeared to survive the storm.
As of 4:15 p.m. Thursday, all of the roads in Sea Pines were open after eight to 10 had to be cleared of downed trees, Toby McSwain, director of security for Sea Pines, said. At least two homes also had trees on their roofs.
“If (residents) are going to come back, they’ve got to be careful,” McSwain said. “We still have things coming down.”
He said in the coming days, Sea Pines is going to have people come in to help cut and clear some limbs, similar to what they did post-Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
McSwain said there was a lot of apparent beach erosion in the South Beach area, but across the way near the Beach Club, the dunes were still standing despite a high tide swelling up on the beach and leaving debris behind.
Black Skimmer Road:
Harbour Town saw stronger winds that other areas of the island Thursday. The area flooded Wednesday evening but recovered. A smattering of people wandered around Harbour Town Thursday afternoon.