Storm surge is still the biggest threat to the Palmetto State, forecasters warn, especially in the low-lying barrier islands such as Hilton Head Island, Hunting Island and Daufauskie Island.
“Starting right now the damage is being done by storm surge,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Neil Dixon. “And that will really be a threat all day Saturday.”
The latest storm models predict:
▪ South Carolina storm surge up to 8 feet or more along the coast
▪ Georgia storm surge up to 6 to 9 feet along the coast
▪ South Carolina rainfall up to 14 inches or more along the coast and up to eight inches farther inland
▪ South Carolina wind gusts of 75 to 80 miles per hour along the coast
It won’t be until late Saturday afternoon into the evening that the storm’s effects will begin to dissipate. But even then, there will be lingering problems, especially with infrastructure, Dixon said.
Just 3 feet of storm surge would overwhelm the portion of Hilton Head Island south of Broad Creek, according to the National Hurricane Center’s storm surge map. The same goes for Beaufort.
Patches of Hunting Island and Lady’s Island will be flooded by just 1 foot of storm surge.
Aside from areas lining the May River that would flood at three feet of storm surge, Bluffton appears to be relatively safe from inundation, according to the map.