Hurricane

Tropical Storm Michael damage update: Here’s the latest on downed trees, emergency calls

Tropical Storm Michael’s wind gusts downed trees, power lines across Beaufort County

Beaufort County made it through Tropical Storm Michael with little damage, but the 40-50+ mph. wind gusts did knock down some trees and power lines. Thousands were out of power across the county Thursday morning, and a few traffic lights were out.
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Beaufort County made it through Tropical Storm Michael with little damage, but the 40-50+ mph. wind gusts did knock down some trees and power lines. Thousands were out of power across the county Thursday morning, and a few traffic lights were out.

Beaufort County missed most of the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Michael, but emergency crews were busier than usual removing downed trees that blocked roads throughout the county Thursday, according to call logs.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office called the damage from the storm “minimal.” In a news release, the department said around 9,000 people lost power in the county, and that there were between 15 and 20 downed trees reported.

Hilton Head Fire Rescue responded to 14 calls from Wednesday at 9 p.m. until Thursday at 8:30 a.m., a news release from the department said.

Here’s a breakdown of the reasons for the calls on Hilton Head from fire rescue and data from the National Weather Service:

  • 11 trees in roadways: Downed trees blocked both lanes of several roads including Jonesville Road, Union Cemetery Road, and Ocean Lane. Downed trees blocked a single lane in other places, including Beach City Road, Hospital Center Boulevard, William Hilton Parkway near Christopher Drive, and Dune Lane.
  • 1 power outage on the north end of the island.
  • 1 car stuck in a ditch near Cotton Point Circle.
  • 1 fire alarm on Lemoyne Avenue.

According to the news release, there were no injuries as a result from any of the reported incidents.

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A tree branch lies on a truck near Milledge Village Road in Beaufort after Tropical Storm Michael passed through the county on Thursday, Oct. 11. Beaufort County Sheriff's Office

Bluffton Township Fire District spokesperson Lee Levesque said his crews also responded to 14 calls Wednesday night, which he called “a normal evening.”

Levesque said crews normally see between 50 and 80 storm-related calls during hurricanes.

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A downed tree near Horton road in Beaufort. Tropical Storm Michael brought high winds to the area on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Beaufort County Sheriff's Office

He said there were three downed wires, including two in downtown Bluffton and one in Okatie. Crews did not differentiate between power lines, phone lines or cable lines — and assumed they were all electric. The National Weather Service data lists a downed wire at Buckwalter Parkway late Wednesday.

One tree fell on a wire in Okatie and crews responded to three fire alarms in the area. Levesque said it’s possible that the fire alarms were triggered by thunder.

He said Wednesday night was “nothing out of the ordinary” in Bluffton, and that the area is lucky to be mostly spared from two hurricanes in two months.

Wind gusts peaked at 46 mph. at the Hilton Head airport around 8 a.m. Thursday as Tropical Storm Michael blew through the Carolinas. Here's a look at Coligny Beach.

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A tree branch lies on the ground near Carolina Village Circle in Beaufort after Tropical Storm Michael passed through the county on Thursday, Oct. 11. Beaufort County Sheriff's Office

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