Residents, vacationers prep for tropical storm impact on HHI - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Residents, vacationers prep for tropical storm impact on HHI

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

With Hilton Head directly on the coast, there is some concern about the tidal influence that could cause some localized flooding.

Hilton Head's Emergency Management Division says one of their main concerns will be the heavy winds. They’re expecting to see some downed trees as this storm passes through.

When it comes to those heavy rains, even though we saw the damage it could do in other parts of the Lowcountry like Ridgeland, the Town of Hilton Head doesn’t expect to see too much flooding because they’ve already been preparing, keeping those water levels around the island low.

“Our engineers have been lowering the lagoons we control and have been working with some of the plantations lowering their lagoons. Literally taking water out of the lagoon they let the water go out and then it goes back out to the sound, or whatever, just to bring the level of the lagoons down so when the water comes in the lagoons don’t’ close the flooding,” said Hilton Head Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Dunn.

The town doesn’t expect to close any roads; however, they said the decision would be up to law enforcement and the Department of Transportation.

Now units with Fire and Rescue will be out and about assessing damage and monitoring for any major incidents, but right now both the town and local agencies are simply encouraging everyone to stay home.

Road closures are the responsibility of law enforcement, however Emergency Management advises them on when to place a closure.

"It's a case by case basis, usually you don't want anyone traveling on a road with any water of any height on it. It doesn't take a whole lot of water to move a car around and it doesn't take a lot to push someone down, so if there is a substantial amount of water, we want to get the road shut down and get the people off the road and not travel on it,” said Town of HHI Emergency Coordinator Tom Dunn.

Closing the roads would be the first step to handling localized flooding. And in the event that people have to leave the island, Emergency Management encourages people to bring three things: food, water and any personal information.

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