Hurricane

A Bluffton resident describes flooding from Hurricane Matthew ahead of possible landfall

Mikael Williams and her roommate say the sky has glowed a bright greenish-blue several times overnight Friday and early Saturday morning. That sometimes happens before a tornado, though it's not clear whether that is the source.
Mikael Williams and her roommate say the sky has glowed a bright greenish-blue several times overnight Friday and early Saturday morning. That sometimes happens before a tornado, though it's not clear whether that is the source. Submitted photo

With Hurricane Matthew passing by the coast of Savannah and bearing down on Beaufort County, we spoke to a woman who remained in Bluffton during the storm.

Mikael Williams lives in the Bluffton Park neighborhood near Old Town, on Red Cedar Street. She said about 2:30 a.m. that water is steadily rising in her area of the neighborhood, near May River Road.

“My section of Red Cedar is a river. It’s up past your knees when you go in the middle of the road,” she said. “For some reason it’s angled really at my house.”

Williams said Bluffton Park’s pond had overflown and water was creeping up the lawn of her two-story home.

She was not alone in staying behind despite Tuesday’s mandatory evacuation order. In her section of Bluffton Park, it seemed half the residents were still home, and her community’s online forum was active with people posting about the approaching floodwaters, which were halfway up some cars’ doors.

Staying behind was not a light decision. Williams says she evacuated from Beaufort County for Hurricane Floyd, but she and her roommates now have four cats and three dogs and are used to prepping for storms. They were ready for the possibility that Hurricane Matthew may leave them without power or water. What they weren’t ready for was the flooding.

“I’m frustrated Matthew took another turn to come back toward us ‘cause we were doing good there for a second,” she said. “... I didn’t have the funds, I have a vehicle that was in very bad shape, and I have animals.”

Williams said she also witnessed a strange phenomenon late Friday night — two times, the sky glowed bright and completely greenish-blue. That sometimes happens before tornadoes, and there was a tornado watch in Bluffton on Friday afternoon.

“It was like an alien invasion,” she said.

“We’ll be fine. We have a two story house, so even if we have flooding problems, we can go upstairs,” Williams said.

Rebecca Lurye: 843-706-8155, @IPBG_Rebecca

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