Sep 19 2016

3 Tips for Visiting During Hurricane Season

We’re in the middle of hurricane season here in South Carolina, and that means you should be aware of a few things if you plan on coming down to the island.

For starters, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and peaks around September 10. That means we are already on our way out of the season, but will likely see more storms before the season dies down.

The average hurricane season has 12 named storms, and the 2016 season has already generated 11 named storms.

So what does all of that mean for the average vacationer? It means be aware of the fact that a storm could start to form in the Atlantic at any given time, but that historically, Edisto has been rather protected from devastating hurricanes.

However, that does not mean that strong storms don’t still happen. The past few weeks have brought along a few strong storms to the island, which have caused lots of standing water and debris to be strewn about.

These storms make for dangerous swimming conditions and also cause treacherous conditions in the water for small watercraft. Rip tides, strong currents, and heavy rain and wind also make for dangerous conditions.

Anyone who has visited Edisto frequently enough can tell you that strong storms often result in a loss of power on the island, so flashlights and candles are your friends.

If you were to be on the island during a hurricane – which would be unlikely as there is ample warning regarding these storms and if it’s bad enough a mandatory evacuation would occur – you should still know the following in order to stay safe:

1. Plan for an evacuation. There is only one road on and off the island, and you will need to be able to get off the island during an evacuation. You can leave the island by taking Highway 174 to US 17 South to SC 64 toward Walterboro.

2. Have plenty of bottled water, canned and boxed food, medications, and important documents with you. Keep batteries on hand for use in electronic items so you can stay informed with radio updates.

3. Make a plan and stick to it. Don’t try to drive through flooded areas. Flooding happens quickly on the island and what looks like shallow water could quickly lead to a dangerous situation.

Realize that a hurricane can also cause tornadoes and water spouts to touch down on the island and the beach. If the winds become strong, it is important to stay away from windows until the storm passes.

Remember to check the weather, pay attention to your surroundings and make the best decision for you if you happen to be visiting the island during a hurricane.

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Bob Hart Author

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