Folly Flood Update
As most people know, an enormous hurricane passed by the east coast this past weekend. Hurricane Joaquin, a monster of a storm, became a Category 4 hurricane at its zenith and topped out at 130 mph winds. The water density of the storm in congruence with a low pressure system full of moisture that brought colder temperatures to South Carolina resulted in over a foot of rainfall to the lowcountry over the past 4 days. The deep moist air flowed over and beneath Joaquin and intensified what was already a potential disaster, and thus resulted in what has become known as the 1,000 Year Storm. Governor Nikki Haley has declared a state of emergency for the entire region and is beckoning people to not leave their homes unless its absolutely necessary.
Folly Beach has endured a beating from the intense flooding that resulted in 21.45 inches of rain (according to http://www.wunderground.com/). Cars have been abandoned along the side of roads, businesses have been shut down, and the island has been open only occasionally to people who dont live on the island. Police are currently checking IDs to allow residents, people with verifiable rental agreements, business owners and verified renters access to their destinations. Some of the worst hit areas on Folly Road have included Battery Island, located just outside of Folly Beach, where the marsh flooded and made the road completely impassable. Road closures have affected various roads on the island itself, Water also crossed the roadway at East Arctic beyond 10th Street.
Churches services were closed on Sunday as well, and schools districts have shut down throughout the area to assess damage and to find new routes for buses. Erosion of the beach is a concern, and high tides have left behind a mound of trash along the shoreline. Many of the houses along the island have suffered damage from flooding, and insurance companies estimate that the total damage statewide will be over $1 billion.
Surfers have been enjoying the increased waves, as the surge has created waves upward to 3-5 feet, but many of the locals have stopped heading into the ocean, pointing out concerns over sewage and other dangerous chemicals that may be found in the ocean. Warnings have also been offered to use as little water as possible until the water system can be flushed, and for people to stay out of the flooded areas due to potentially dangerous conditions. Still, the occasional kayaker or paddleboarder may be seen crossing the flooded roads lining the island.
As of the time of this blog, rain has subsided, but a slight drizzle is still hanging around. Governor Haley insists that we remain alert, as this situation is still ongoing and the end is not yet in sight.
See more weather related posts on Seabrook Island regarding the Hurricane.
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