Hurricane Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach, Florida, at approximately 7:45 am on Wednesday as a powerful category 3 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Idalia is forecast to gradually weaken as it tracks to the northeast into Georgia and South Carolina.
The Town of Seabrook Island increased its readiness position to OPCON 2 (Likely Disaster Impacts) on Wednesday morning. Town offices will close at 12:00 pm on Wednesday and will remain closed for non-essential personnel on Thursday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Henry McMaster declared a State of Emergency in preparation for the potential effects from Hurricane Idalia. The governor’s order directs the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) to coordinate with all relevant state agencies and to be prepared to respond to any requests for state assistance from local officials and county emergency management leaders.
Official updates from the town will be posted on the following town channels, as warranted:
- Website: www.townofseabrookisland.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/townofseabrookisland
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/seabrookislnd87
DIAL 911 FOR EMERGENCIES. Emergency calls to 911 should be reserved for life-threatening situations, or for the reporting of a crime or fire. Do NOT call 911 if you have water in your home unless your life is in danger. Do NOT call 911 to report a power outage. Power outages should be reported directly to Berkeley Electric Cooperative.
Charleston County Citizen’s Information Hotline. The Charleston County Citizen’s Information Line is currently active. For questions concerning non-emergency assistance during a state of emergency, contact the Charleston County Citizen’s Information Hotline at (843) 746-3900.
Power Outages. Power outages may be reported to Berkeley Electric Cooperative by phone at (888) 253-4232 or online at https://www.berkeleyelectric.coop/.
Sign up for CodeRED. The Town of Seabrook Island uses the CodeRED emergency notification system. Click here to register for CodeRED alerts.
The Town of Seabrook Island is expected to experience impacts from Idalia over the next 24 hours. Our area is currently under a Storm Surge Warning, Hurricane Watch, Tropical Storm Warning and Flood Watch. The greatest impacts are expected to occur in our area later today and into Thursday morning. The NWS has advised that the following impacts are possible:
- Heavy rainfall and flash flooding: Rainfall totals are forecast to range between 4 to 8 inches across inland areas, with 2 to 4 inches closer to the coast.
- Strong, gusty winds: There is a high probability of tropical storm force winds. A corridor of hurricane force winds is likely close to the storm center and over the Atlantic marine waters as Idalia tracks across southeastern Georgia and South Carolina. Our area will likely experience sustained winds of 39+ mph, with gusts over 50 mph possible. There is also a possibility for brief periods of hurricane force winds. The earliest onset for tropical storm force winds in our area is around 4:00 pm but will most likely occur around 8:00 pm this evening. Peak winds are expected around midnight tonight.
- Storm surge/coastal flooding: Based on the timing of the current forecast track, the Wednesday evening (~8:30 PM) high tide cycle will produce the highest water levels (3-5 feet of water inundation near the immediate coast and tidal waterways). The NWS is predicting a Wednesday evening high tide of 8.5 to 8.6 feet but advises that the actual tide may be higher than predicted.
- There is an elevated risk for tornadoes across portions of southeastern Georgia and South Carolina today and into tonight as well as waterspouts over the coastal waters.
- There is also a high risk for rip currents, high surf, and likely significant beach erosion.
Charleston County Government offices, including the downtown Judicial Center, will close at 1:00 pm on Wednesday and will remain closed on Thursday.
The St. Johns Fire Department will respond to all calls as long as it is safe for their personnel to do so. Calls may need to be prioritized based on conditions. The department will have a high-water vehicle on-island and ready to assist as needed.
Seabrook Island Beach Patrol will be on the beach on Wednesday; however, personnel and equipment will be withdrawn once conditions become unsafe. Beach Patrol advises that strong currents and high surf are likely. Residents and visitors are advised to stay out of the water until the storm has passed.
Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA) administrative offices and the Lake House will close at 12:00 pm on Wednesday. All contractors must secure their job sites and must leave the island by noon on Wednesday.
The Seabrook Island Club has advised of its plan to close all amenities beginning at 8:00 am on Wednesday. Golf courses and the Island House will close at 3:00 pm on Wednesday. All Club amenities will be closed on Thursday.
Berkeley Electric Cooperative has advised the town that it is continuing to monitor the forecast for Hurricane Idalia and is preparing for a storm response within its service area.
Residents, property owners and visitors are advised to monitor local media outlets for updates on Hurricane Idalia. Forecasts are also updated regularly on the National Hurricane Center website at www.hurricanes.gov.
Residents, property owners and visitors are also encouraged to review and be ready to implement their hurricane preparedness plans. Additional resources may be found on the town’s website at https://www.townofseabrookisland.org/emergency-resources.html.
In advance of anticipated storm impacts, residents and visitors are encouraged to secure or remove outdoor objects, such as lawn furniture, garbage cans and other materials, which may be blown by the wind.
Residents and visitors are also strongly encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel on Wednesday evening and into the early morning hours, especially when tides will be the highest between 6:30 pm and 10:30 pm..
Property owners and managers with rental guests should forward this information to their rental guests. Owners and managers of commercial establishments are also encouraged to share this information with their employees.
-Submitted by Town of Seabrook Island