Although Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm, her effects were felt in the Lowcountry as parts of her outer bands blew through Beaufort, SC on Monday and brought a lot of water, wind and rain along with it. There’s a lot of flooding throughout the area, along with property damage, power outages with trees and some poles down all over. Some boat docks are gone and it will most likely be a few days before the full extent of the damage can be determined.
Wind wasn’t the problem as much as water is across Beaufort. A surge larger than Matthew’s 2016 surge arrived between 1 and 2pm and brought flooding all over the area including the sea islands. Sea Island Parkway on Lady’s Island near the airport was flooded out as was parts of the causeway at Parris Island. Flooding occurred throughout the northern part of the county and several downtown Beaufort businesses were under water as well.
A storm some 500 miles wide, after tearing up the Caribbean, the Florida Keys and then Miami, Irma made landfall on Sunday afternoon at Marco Island on Florida’s southwest coast and then proceeded north at a slow pace which gave Beaufort a full day’s worth of a battering from her wrath and knocked out power to tens of thousands locally.
Storm surge, tropical storm and flash flood warnings were all cancelled last Monday night. The Beaufort County School District announced on Monday that classes will resume on Wednesday.
The county said they need to make sure roads are clear of trees and bridges and causeways were not damaged by the storm surge that washed over them Monday. County officials say they will consult with the governor’s office and decide by 8:30am whether people can return to Fri, Harbor, Daufuskie and Hilton Head Islands, which were placed under mandatory evacuation orders Friday.