Storm, King Tide bring high water to Beaufort

4 mins read
Bob Sofaly photo Offshore winds and higher than average tides created some minor flooding as seen here at the Downtown Marina.

Above: Offshore winds and abnormally high tides created some minor flooding last weekend, as seen here at the Downtown Marina. Photo by Bob Sofaly

By Mike McCombs

A strong storm off the coast over the weekend combined with a King tide led to miserable conditions on Friday and Saturday and abnormally high tides and flooding of low-lying areas on Sunday.

Water breached the sea wall in Beaufort’s Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, while The Sands beach and the boat landing parking lot in Port Royal were underwater.

“It wasn’t like we got 2 inches in an hour,” Port Royal Town Manager Van Willis said. “So there was no flooding because of a stormwater issue or a drainage issue. But it really did a number out at The Sands Beach and the parking lot was flooded.

“The water was way up. Normally, The Sands will get covered up, but to have that water so far up in the parking lot was unusual.”

Like Port Royal, Beaufort saw little damage, but a lot of water.

Parts of the Beaufort Downtown Marina parking lot were still flooded early Monday afternoon. Photo by Lolita Huckaby.

“There was some flooding,” Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop said. “One of our floodgates didn’t work properly, but no one’s home was flooded or anything. It’s just some fine tuning on the calibration that we have once the tide got over 9 feet. We were at 9.7-foot tide with the storm surges on top of that.

“Overall, except for some flooding that we normally get, water over the top of the wall at (Henry C.) Chambers Park, … the flooding lasted a couple of hours and then went back. But we didn’t have any serious damage.”

Hunting Island State Park, which often bares the brunt of storms like this, may be fortunate to have eluded any serious flooding.

“As expected, we had inundation along the Marsh Boardwalk, Russ Point boat landing and low-lying trail sections,” Hunting Island State Park Manager Brandon Goff said. “Water receded with the falling tide, thankfully. Our campground experienced flooding of the low-lying areas with minimal impact to camping pads. Erosion on the beach was surprisingly minimal. The only lingering effects on the park would be the normal clean up after a wind/rain event.

A lone truck braves the Port Royal boat landing parking lot. Photo by Tina Fripp.

“The tides were incredible and we’re thankful to have weathered this event as well as we did.”

Heavy winds, cold temperatures and heavy rain to cancel any chance of outdoor activities on Friday evening and all day Saturday.

The Rotary Club of the Lowcountry’s 24th annual Family Oyster Roast, set for Saturday evening, was postponed until Sunday afternoon, when it was a huge success. Help of Beaufort’s Oyster Roast was postponed until January.

John Paul II Catholic School’s fundraiser concert featuring Edwin McCain was postponed until the spring, according to school spokesperson Mary Beth Dever. The school is working on finding a makeup date that will work for McCain.

Mike McCombs is the Editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.

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