Hurricane Dorian continued to parallel the coast of South Carolina Thursday afternoon as a strong Category 2 storm, bringing damaging wind and rain to Georgetown County.
The airport in Georgetown first recorded a wind gust at 52 mph during the early morning hours as Dorian made its way up the coast from Charleston. The advancement of the storm triggered a tornado warning in Georgetown County.
According to Georgetown County Deputy Public Information Officer Randy Akers, Georgetown County Emergency Management has monitored for any issues as the hurricane passed the county.
“Pretty much what we expected to see,” Akers said. “A lot of high winds and rain. We’ve had some flooding down on Front Street.”
The beaches of DeBordieu, Litchfield and Pawleys Island all experienced storm surge and flooding with the passing storm. Across the rest of Georgetown County, there were downed trees, powerlines and also a couple of fire calls on Thursday.
At the height of the hurricane in Georgetown, 6501 Santee Electric, 100 Duke Energy, 200 Santee Cooper customers and the entire city of Georgetown lost power. Crews were quickly working to get the power on when it was safe to do so.
Akers said citizens can expect the weather to get better as nightfall progresses.
“We’re thinking overnight the storm will move out of our area,” Akers said. “We still think that we will have the intense wind and rain for a little bit longer, but in a few hours, it should taper off. This is one of the slower-moving storms in recent history.
Georgetown Mayor Brendon Barber said that it was “a blessing” not having the anticipated 3:27 p.m. storm surge along with the high tide that was forecasted for the city.
“We dodged a big bullet not having that storm surge,” Mayor Barber said.
Mayor Barber said that he urges citizens to not go out and sight-see with Hurricane Dorian still in the area.
“I’ve seen a couple of people actually walking the streets,” Mayor Barber said. “They don’t realize the danger of falling tree limbs, powerlines or even standing water. We are still going to have some high winds throughout the evening.”
Mayor Barber said that he has been in constant contact with Gov. McMaster, U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, S.C. Sen. Ronnie Sabb and S.C. Rep. Carl Anderson. They have all shown concern for Georgetown and have offered their support.
Mayor Barber said times like this bring out the best in people.
“I have to give the citizens, employees of the city, administrative staff along with our first responders credit,” Mayor Barber said. “During this storm, they have been out there checking things out and reporting back. They have families too. They actually put their lives on the line to make sure we are safe.”