Daniel Island braces for Dorian's impact
Hurricane Dorian dampened holiday plans for many local residents and visitors. As Dorian stormed her way to a Category 5 near the Bahamas over the Labor Day weekend, the Charleston area officially started prepping for potential impacts here. At the time this issue went to print on Tuesday, the Lowcountry was not expected to get away unscathed as the massive storm made its way up the East Coast.
At a press conference Monday, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg advised residents to be prepared and above all stay safe. He reassured residents, especially those evacuating, that a team effort was already in place from the White House to local first responders, which would keep the city safe throughout the upcoming storm and beyond.
“I want to assure our citizens that we are going to ‘mind the store’ while you’re gone. We are going to keep things safe,” he said.
By Labor Day, preparations were in full swing, as residents hoped for the best but prepared for the worst. On Monday, the City of Charleston started distributing a limited supply of free sand and bags to residents. As of noon Monday, more than 20,000 sandbags city-wide were picked up at various locations. Delivery trucks, with police escorts to expedite the process, worked throughout the day to replenish sand. Many locals took advantage of the free sandbags outside the Volvo Car Stadium distribution location on Daniel Island.
Haley Kantor and Victor Ruiz, both of Mount Pleasant, headed to Daniel Island first thing Monday morning to pick up sandbags and in hope of avoiding the potential effects of Dorian’s destruction.
“It was on both of our minds late last night because I’m heading out of town,” said Ruiz.
Kantor planned to stay put.
“I don’t think I’m going anywhere. I’m going to stay and hold down the fort,” she said.
Rachel Hyde came to the VCS from downtown Charleston to fill sandbags, hoping to fight off potential flooding while she is out of town
In anticipation of the impending storm, UnHwa Ruckel of Daniel Island’s Salon UnHwa began contacting customers during the weekend to reschedule appointments. The hairstylist opened up her salon over the holiday to meet the needs of her DI customers who were booked during Dorian’s estimated arrival on the island.
“Things happen living in Charleston that we all have to deal with, so I cancelled all appointments Wednesday and Thursday. The most important thing is accommodating my customers and making sure they’re safe,” explained Ruckel.
Early morning Monday, Publix supermarket on Daniel Island was unusually busy for a holiday. Many of the customers were there to stock up on water, food, and other last minute hurricane supplies.
Daniel Island resident Valerie Foster was preparing for the hurricane but was undecided about evacuating.
“We are getting water and non-perishable foods,” said Foster. “We are waiting until we see where the storm track is headed before leaving.”
Gov. Henry McMaster ordered mandatory evacuation of people along the entire South Carolina coast on noon Monday. Following the order, all government offices and schools in South Carolina’s eight coastal counties, including Daniel Island and the Cainhoy peninsula, closed on Tuesday. Government offices and schools in coastal counties will remain closed until given the all-clear to re-open.
For the latest area information on the storm go to charleston-sc.gov/CivicAlerts and The Daniel Island News Facebook page.