September 03, 2019
Hurricane Dorian Update #6
Following the Town’s conference call with Charleston County Emergency Management Department and regional counterparts regarding Hurricane Dorian, the most recent information is reported below:
The official report from the National Weather Service is that Hurricane Dorian is now a Category 2, nearly a Category 3, and has begun its turn Northwestward. Dorian is expected to parallel the Georgia and South Carolina coasts tomorrow. Due to the slow speed of this storm, predictions of the track could change.
Charleston County is under a hurricane warning and storm surge warning. Hurricane conditions are expected to be present in the next 24 hours starting Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Our area is expected to receive heavy rainfall (6-10”), significant storm surge (4-7 ft.), heavy flooding, sustained wind speeds (40 mph or greater) with wind gusts up to 74 mph or greater as well as possible tornado threats.
The predicted timeline indicates the heaviest rainfall will occur Wednesday evening which will coincide with high tide. The possibility of flooding is highly likely island wide, including the main arteries of Kiawah Island Parkway and Governor’s Drive, which could prevent access on and off the island.
If conditions are severe, power and water systems could be shut down. This is especially important for residents who have medical needs requiring power. At this time, Berkeley Electric does not intend to shut down power. If that changes due to the conditions, the Town will communicate their intent as soon as possible.
Restricted access to the island will begin Wednesday at 6 a.m., at which time island access will be controlled by Charleston County Sheriff’s Office at the traffic circle. Following that the main gate will not be staffed.
Access to the island will be restricted to emergency personnel and property owners. Property owners will be required to show proof of identification. Property owners who are not full-time residents must show a secondary identification with their Kiawah address on it or a Governor’s Club card, KICA amenities card, or Kiawah Island Club card.
Residents should be implementing their evacuation plans. If you do not evacuate, please be aware, critical public safety services including Fire and EMS at a certain time will withdraw their equipment and personnel from the island.
Currently deputies are using their discretion based on traffic flow however, there is an official evacuation route which may be enforced if traffic becomes heavier.
Once the storm has passed the Governor has to first lift the evacuation order and then the Mayor has to announce island re-entry date and time. Reentry will not be permitted until after damage assessment is complete. Remember after Matthew reentry was not allowed for 48 hours. Residents should plan on a similar situation if conditions are similar to Matthew.
You can expect the next update tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. If there is breaking news, we will release that information before our scheduled communication.
- Ponds and lakes are at max drainage in anticipation of heavy rain and potential flooding.
- Damage assessment and debris clean up teams are ready to respond as needed.
- The Station has ample gasoline supply. While the store is closed, residents will be able to use gas pumps with credit card access as long as there is power.
- The Kestrel Court Recycling Center household trash dumpsters are fully operational; however, the recycling container is full. Household trash and recycling dumpsters at Beachwalker Center (KICA offices 23 Beachwalker) are operational.
- All trash collections are suspended until further notice. Please make sure your cans are pulled in and secure.
- Contractors are permitted on island to assist homeowners with hurricane preparation until 7 p.m. tonight.
- Beginning tonight at 7 p.m., the Community Association will close the island for commercial access.
- All Town meetings scheduled for this week have been canceled and Town offices will be closed until further notice.
- The Sandcastle is closed until further notice. All regularly scheduled classes and meetings are canceled.
- KIGR is closed.
- All rental guests need to depart the island by tonight at 7 p.m. All rental agencies including Airbnb and VRBO owners should notify their tenants.
- For information on Freshfields Village tenant hours/closures click here
- Lane reversals of I-26 from Charleston to Columbia are still in effect.
- The Charleston Airport is closing tomorrow afternoon. Please beware the airport is inaccessible off of I-26 but is accessible via I-526.
- Starting today, Charleston County downtown garages at Cumberland and at King and Queen Street will be available for free parking to citizens who live in flood prone areas. The garages will be open until further notice.
- Governor McMaster issued an evacuation order that began at noon September 2. The evacuation order does not mean property owners will be forced to leave their property; however, the Town strongly encourages residents to comply.
- Charleston County has activated the Citizen Information Line at 843-746-3900.
- If you have special needs regarding medical assistance, contact the Disabilities Resource Center at (843) 225-5080.
- All schools and state government offices in Charleston County will be closed until further notice.
Official Evacuation Route:
- Evacuation Zones Kiawah/Seabrook Island is in ZONE A
- Evacuation Route: Bohicket/Main Rd. to US 17. US 17 south to SC 64 where you will go to Walterboro, then to North Augusta
- National Weather Service
- South Carolina Emergency Management Division
- SCDOT live road conditions
- Kiawah Island Community Association
- Live 5 News
- ABC News 4
- Post and Courier
Sign up for the Town’s emergency notification system CodeRED here.CodeRED is used to communicate to residents to a designated phone number in emergency situations. CodeRED is reserved for short evacuation related messages sent with only pertinent information.