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Dorian hits Edisto with lighter punch than expected

Hurricane Dorian impacted Colleton County when it swept passed the South Carolina coast last week, causing local power outages, erosion and downed trees throughout the county, and especially at Edisto Beach.
According to Iris Hill, administrator for the Town of Edisto Beach, Edisto received less damage than first anticipated. The beach was surveyed on Friday. In that preliminary survey, Hill says there is “minor erosion” from Dorian. However, the town should receive final erosion results from that test within a few weeks.
Widespread winds from Dorian came inland on Thursday, Sept. 6th, adding to the number of sporadic power outages in Colleton County. In all, there were 6,500 reported power outages during the hurricane, according to Barry McRoy, director and chief of Colleton County Fire-Rescue, the agency in charge of all preparedness and recovery efforts from Hurricane Dorian.
McRoy said most of those outages were at Edisto Beach.
Edisto was officially evacuated on Monday, Sept. 1 by S.C. Governor Henry McMaster: the evacuation at Edisto was part of a widespread order given by McMaster, which included Jasper County, parts of Colleton County and all of Beaufort and Charleston counties.
Because of that evacuation order, schools were closed in Colleton County all of last week, as Colleton County High School was set up as an official shelter for storm evacuees.
In all, about 125 people used the shelter during the evacuation, according to McRoy.
By 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5th, McMaster lifted the evacuation order. This allowed local law enforcement and rescue personnel to begin clearing out the shelter and helping residents return to normal life. “We had minimal damage in Colleton County from the hurricane,” said McRoy.
Leaders with Colleton County Fire-Rescue assessed the damage countywide last week.
“Edisto took the biggest hit, and had the most power outages from downed trees. They also had sand along their streets from the coastal winds and they are assessing erosion. But overall, I’m happy with how our county resources responded to the storm’s threat and I’m grateful that it wasn’t worse for Colleton,” said McRoy.
As a response to McMaster’s evacuation order, officials with the Town of Edisto Beach implemented a curfew on Tuesday for Edisto Beach residents. This curfew was removed on Thursday, when McMaster lifted the evacuation order.
Power was restored to Edisto Beach on Saturday morning.
The Edisto Beach State Park was also evacuated, as part of the governor’s order.
Park officials plan to reopen the park on Sept. 16th, according to town officials.
According to Edisto Beach Administrator Iris Hill, town officials were originally concerned that the beach town would have severe impacts from Dorian, as the storm was following a parallel path taken by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc upon Edisto Beach, causing weeks of power outages, massive erosion and flooding. Matthew also dumped mounds of sand upon the town’s main roads.
On Monday, Hill said there is between $100,000 and $150,000 in overall damage to Edisto Beach houses.

Heather Walters (1738 Posts)