By Sally Mahan
Thanks to the hard work of first responders, local utilities and municipalities, it would be hard to tell now that Tropical Storm Hermine showed up in Beaufort County.
According to SCE&G, there were about 38,000 customers who lost power during the storm in SCE&G’s coverage area, which includes Beaufort, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Numbers from Palmetto Electric were unavailable.
In Bluffton, the police department, Bluffton Public Works and the Fire District responded to several downed trees and a few downed power lines and traffic lights that lost power.
The largest incident involved a downed power line that crossed U.S. 278, which was shut down while the line was removed. Several hours later, U.S. 278 was shut down again so Palmetto Electric could replace the power line.
“The communication between police, fire and public works went very well,” said Joy Nelson, community relations manager. “All calls were handled efficiently and quickly. We were ready for anything but were glad at the end of the day when the area was hit with some wind and rain.”
On Hilton Head Island, Fire Rescue responded to a total of 52 calls related to Hermine. There were five trees on powerlines, two elevator rescues, 29 trees blocking roads, 11 trees on homes, three trees on vehicles and two power lines on utilities.
The Red Cross was requested to assist families living in homes with damage caused by falling trees. Each family received financial assistance for lodging.
The town has set up additional dates for yard waste burning due to the storm for Saturday, Sept. 10, and Sunday, Sept. 11. Residents must have or obtain a burn permit prior to burning yard waste and register a burn on the day of burning.
The city of Beaufort/town of Port Royal Fire Department responded to multiple reports of trees and downed wires, including one report of a house on fire in the 2200 block of Wilson Drive in the city of Beaufort. A large tree branch fell on the electrical service to the home causing arching in the electrical circuits.
There were also minor reports of flooding in the normal low-lying areas and multiple trees down on private property.
Top photo: Two-foot swells crash over the sea wall, causing minor flooding at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. The power of the crashing water could be felt under one’s feet while walking near the wall. Photo by Bob Sofaly.