Dewees was designed for this. After getting calls from friends from around the country checking on the island, we thought we’d send a flood update with some photos from both the height of the storm, and afterwards, when the waters had receded. I have yet to find someone with a working rain gauge on the island (mine died at 6 inches of rain back on Thursday) but we have had significant flooding in the Charleston area. Bob and Connie in Mount Pleasant saw upwards of 18 inches and Boone Hall Plantation (which is pretty much due north) has measured 24. During moments of heavy downpours, there was a lot of water on the road, but as soon as it stopped raining, the water drained off like it was designed to do: into the waterway, the ocean, or the impoundment. I found myself REALLY impressed with the Dewees Island master site plan: I am not aware of any of the 150 homesites where water from this 1000 year flood reached the homesites. Here are some photos:
At the height of the storm and the tide along Pelican Flight drive:
Because we have no asphalt, the water has plenty of places to drain.
We drove around at the height of the storm, in our favorite role as “storm team Dewees,” and took this video:
The path to Chapel Pond in the storm:
and by Wednesday:
Along the dock, we have continued to see rather high tides. This photo, looking toward the main dock from the floating dock, shows Tilly way up in the air:
This was the main dock on Monday:
Meanwhile, over on the IOP, the parking lot managed to gather some water:
And both Palm Boulevard and Waterway were closed, diverting traffic through the neighborhoods:
By Monday, Reggie was able to get to the grocery store easily, despite some continued road closures. By Wednesday, schools were back in session in Charleston County, but not in most other nearby areas. As some of the upstate water heads south along the rivers, the coast is actually prepared for more flooding, which you can read about here in the Post and Courier.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about beach erosion, and it’s been hard to see what the beach looks like at low tide, because all the tides are high. The short answer is that things look pretty good. We’ve accreted so many dunes that there is some erosion, but the walkways are all there. I’ll get more pictures today. This was Ancient Dunes at the height of the storm:
You can see that most of the newly formed dunes (and vegetation) are still there, despite some overwash areas:
This was what the gazebo looked like from the water on Wednesday:
This was the view north from Ancient Dunes on Wednesday:
On the island, the storm didn’t dampen all of the fun: Friday brought some bigger waves than usual (and after a big knock-down, nobody was allowed back in the water after that.)
AND some island anglers spent some great time fishing, even in the biggest downpours:
Because our wastewater treatment system is a closed system, we were spared the leakage troubles that both IOP and Sullivans were dealing with. At coffee this week, we all expressed our gratitude for the island planners who designed the homesites on the land plan, as well as the island leadership who replaced our previous water treatment facility with the new one. It will take a while for the rest of the state to return to normal, and those of us who live here are counting our blessings. If you’re headed here from out of town, check for road accessibility here at the SCDOT site. As of this publication, there were 266 road closures and 131 bridges closed. We have run into visitors from the Asheville area who were able to make it here along I26 with no problems.
Amidst all that rain, we were glad to find moments of hilarity with neighbors who had gotten stuck in the same puddles or made it to happy hour at Huyler House, amazed at large numbers of storks and spoonbills, and grateful for the extraordinary beauty of sunlight as it peeked through the clouds.