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Hurricane Irma Update #9- Sullivan’s Island

By Andy Benke for Island Eye News

Good afternoon Island residents,

As reported yesterday, the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center upgraded the status in Charleston County from Tropical Storm Watch and Storm Surge Watch to TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND TROPICAL STORM SURGE WARNING.  This status change was anticipated.   A tropical storm warning and tropical surge warning mean that tropical storm and surge conditions are expected within the next 36 hours. 

The sustained tropical storm-force winds may result in downed trees and power lines, leading to power outages.  A tropical storm surge means there is a danger of inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the next 36 hours.  While conditions will begin to change Sunday evening, it appears that the critical time for wind, rain and surge will be Monday between 10am and 4pm. 

Attached above you will find the briefing synopsis from the NWS briefing this morning. Here is what we expect for Sullivan’s Island:

  1. Storm Surge and Tides: Strong northeast wind will exacerbate the elevated surge resulting from the hurricane wind. The storm surge is expected to be between 4 to 6 feet on top of a 6.1 foot high tide Monday at approximately 12:15pm.  Therefore, flooding in low lying areas is expected. Moreover, ocean water may breach the dunes is some areas.
  2. Heavy Rain: Excessive rainfall beginning Sunday evening through Monday between 4 to 8 inches on top of the current high water table is expected.
  3. Tropical Storm Wind: Tropical storm wind forces are expected to begin late Sunday night into Monday. Several models indicate that the wind will not exceed 40mph.Important precautions for residents:
  1. Continue to monitor local media outlets for specific weather conditions.
  2. If you are in a flood prone area of the Island susceptible to tide surge and feel uncomfortable, relocate while there is time.
  3. Dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
  4. Conditions exist for tornadoes throughout this event.
  5. Do not drive if at all possible. 
  6. Use extreme caution driving through water.
  7. Never approach a downed power line.
  8. Strong rip currents exist in the ocean.


The Town emergency responders are prepared and standing-by for any emergency. It is important to note that the hurricane still tracks well to the west of South Carolina and Sullivan’s Island.  Nevertheless, the storm is very wide and these effects are from the outer bands of the system.  Please continue with guarded optimism and monitor the storm tracking and Charleston conditions on the local media. The next message will follow my noon briefing Monday 9-11-17 or sooner as necessary.

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