A mandatory evacuation of Edisto Beach has been issued by the governor of South Carolina. The evacuation begins at 10 a.m., Sept. 9, with door-to-door notification beginning at 8 a.m.
Edisto Island is one of eight islands within the state that are evacuating as a result of Hurricane Irma, which is projected to cause a storm surge of up to six feet.
This storm surge is expected to hit the area on Monday. It’s also being exacerbated by higher-than-normal tides due to a recent full moon.
So what does that mean for Edisto?
Basically, it means much of the island is subject to flooding. A storm surge happens when the ocean rises due to the atmospheric pressure changes and wind associated with a storm.
As Hurricane Matthew showed in 2016, a storm surge can wreak havoc on the island by making roads impassable with standing water from the coast, marshes, and other bodies of water on the island.
While the storm surge is definitely dangerous, the eastern edge of Irma, which is the storm’s most powerful side, will be close to the area. That means there is the potential for dangerously strong winds, lightning, and tornadoes.
When a mandatory evacuation occurs and residents or visitors do not leave, it means those individuals run the risk of being on the island without the normal emergency services. In addition, stores and service stations will be closed, so if you do not have food, fuel and supplies now, be sure to do so. The Bi-Lo will close Sept. 9 at 10 a.m.
Remember to continue to check the weather to see the latest updates with Hurricane Irma as the storm continues to shift.