September 11, 2018
Communication from Mayor Weaver
As we know, Governor McMaster has issued an executive order that calls for the evacuation of coastal areas, including Kiawah Island, beginning no later than noon today September 11th. I suspect that many property owners were not anticipating this evacuation order and have not made preparations to leave the island. Consequently, I want to provide residents and property owners with information about what to expect over the next couple days and some things to consider as you make your plans.
The order does not require that all residents leave the island by today at noon. If you are still making preparations, please take the necessary time to assure that your property is secure. While recent forecasts may have lessened the predicted impact on Kiawah, it’s better to protect against all three potential effects of a storm – wind, rain and storm surge – than try to guess which of these, if any, Kiawah Island might experience.
At some point support from Town, KICA, fire, EMS and law enforcement will diminish to minimum levels as these employees also comply with the evacuation order. Any personnel that remains on the island will be focused only on critical operations and security. Similarly, local commercial operations will be winding down over the next day or two as well.
We will stay in continued contact with our utility providers, including water and sewer, power and communications. While each is committed to keeping their services operating, we know from our experience in previous weather events that these services, especially power and communications, are vulnerable to disruption, particularly if the island experiences extended heavy rain, higher than normal tides, or storm surge. Kiawah Island Utility and Berkeley Electric participate in the Town’s emergency management process and we will inform you of any change affecting these services.
We and KICA will allow continued access onto the island for contractor and service personnel to assist residents in securing property, as long as weather conditions allow and as long as we have sufficient Town, KICA and public safety support on the island. At some point, as with both Hurricane Mathew and Tropical Storm Irma, we could restrict access onto Kiawah. We will issue a communication prior to taking this action.
Let’s hope that by the weekend the storm has passed, had little or no impact on Kiawah, and all this preparation will have been unnecessary. But let’s also remember that a tropical storm is unpredictable, and even if we are not in its direct path the effects can extend along a wide path.
Mayor, Town of Kiawah Island