The team at Disaster Plus continues to closely monitor Hurricane Matthew as it barrels toward the South Carolina coast and Charleston county. Yesterday afternoon, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced evacuation plans for Charleston’s coastal cities, including Peninsular Charleston, North Charleston, Hanahan, Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley, Daniel Island, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, and Folly Beach. Residents in these cities have been encouraged to make plans to leave immediately, with the Lowcountry expected to be hit hardest by the hurricane sometime on Friday night/Saturday morning. This would also be the time we begin to see Hurricane Matthew flooding. Charlestonians will likely begin to feel the initial effects of the storm, such as gradually increasing winds and rain, Friday afternoon and evening.
Unlike the mandatory evacuations 17 years ago, when Hurricane Floyd threatened the Lowcountry and caused gridlock on Interstate 26 and back roads across the state, Governor Haley has opted to reverse traffic on I26 to help alleviate traffic concerns. With schools and businesses across the state officially closed for at least the remainder of this week, many people are opting to hit the road. Late yesterday evening gas shortages were reported both in Downtown Charleston and Mt. Pleasant with many locations running out of gas altogether and closing pumps.
If you are planning to evacuate, be sure to review South Carolina’s evacuation routes.
Hurricane Matthew Flooding: What to expect?
The latest report from the National Weather Service (5PM, 10/5) forecasts the Charleston area to receive anywhere from 6 to 15+ inches of rain (almost a foot) and 5 to 8 feet of inundation (flooding) as a result of Hurricane Matthew. The amount of rain the Lowcountry receives, and the amount of Hurricane Matthew flooding we see, is dependent on a range of factors, primarily related to the path and trajectory of the hurricane, but also its speed and other weather conditions. If you are thinking in advance about water damage your property may incur, take a moment to review Disaster Plus’ flood protection advice and take advantage of our proven tips for minimizing the amount of water extraction you may need.
Keep in mind FEMA‘s three flood preparedness keys for your homes or businesses: elevate, waterproof, clear debris
A quick method to retroactively ‘waterproof’ vulnerable areas of your home is to employ sandbags. However, according to social media, the City of Charleston has already exhausted their supply. If you live on Isle of Palms, Wild Dunes, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, Edisto Island, Kiawah or Seabrook, check with your local government, otherwise give a call to your local Home Depot, Lowe’s or Wal-Mart before making the driving.
After distributing 15,500 sandbags, the city has discontinued sandbag operations.To purchase sandbags, contact a local home hardware store.
— City of Charleston (@CityCharleston) October 5, 2016
If you are in a pinch and need a few makeshift sandbags to shore up exposed areas of your property, Disaster Plus recommends filling trash bags with a small amount of household material (baking powder/flours/bulk rice) or gardening soil and sealing them with duct tape. Alternatively, tarp can be used around doors/windows and also sealed with duct tape and, depending on the location, dirt. Every little bit helps when it comes to safeguarding your home from needing water clean up from potential Hurricane Matthew flooding.
What do I need to know about storm surge and its aftermath?
If you lived in Charleston during Hurricane Hugo, you know that the storm surge caused a vast amount of property damage ($20 billion) in Charleston, Folly Beach, West Ashley, and Mt. Pleasant (which was ground zero for Hugo’s landfall). The surge was 20 feet tall in some areas of the Lowcountry. If you aren’t a Charleston native and find yourself unfamiliar with the term storm surge, know that it is the rising of sea levels due to the low pressure, high waves, and strong winds brought on by a hurricane. Hurricane Matthew’s strong winds could help push large amount of seawater onto land and cause extensive coastal flooding. The storm surge produced by the hurricane will be determined by its strength when it reaches the South Carolina coast, but be aware that storm surge isn’t confined to oceanfront property – it is capable of extending up to 2 miles inland.
A storm surge produces a slow, steady flood and can easily damage and destroy homes, boats, and cars. Additionally, surge water that is pushed into low-lying coastal areas is likely to remain for weeks. Stagnant water puts your property at risk for mold growth and will require immediate remediation.
Our promise to you.
Disaster Plus is Charleston’s oldest locally owned and operated Disaster Restoration business. We’re a family-run enterprise with deep roots in the Charleston area. We’ll be here before, during, and after the storm offering our services, help, and support. The team at Disaster Plus knows exactly what it’s like to prepare for a major Hurricane and to deal with all the facets of its aftermath and will be praying for you and your family during this time. We’re available 24/7 at 843-724-7247 and contactable online on Facebook, Twitter, and this website.