McIntosh County receives large brunt of storm - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

McIntosh County receives large brunt of storm

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

We're getting a lot of calls into the WTOC 24-hour Newsroom regarding damage reports in McIntosh County. 

We spoke to one caller right in the heat of Hurricane Irma on Monday while he was on his shrimp boat. Robert Todd says they knew there would be flooding, but no one expected it'd be so bad. 

"Right here where we're standing was actually knee deep in water. A fellow, in a sense, they're saying his truck was totaled, but it was actually floating here in the parking lot. As you can see, this is the railway where they pull the shrimp boats up and all, that it's covered in marsh rack. It's one of the highest tides that we have ever gotten here. In fact, a bunch of locals that have been here 50, 60, 70 years say they've never seen a tide come in that high," Todd said. 

Docks are left destroyed and there's lots of residue cleanup to be done. 

"As you can see, there are boards missing all throughout the dock. The dock came up in multiple places. It's just like trying to hold one of your friends down in a swimming pool when you're horsing around. It's that pressure that they're still trying to come up and that's what happened when the tide came up. There was enough water pressure under the dock pushing these boards on this older dock straight up and out."

"When Irma came through, I would probably be standing in this much water right here."

About 95 percent of the county lost power when the storm blew through. Mike Edwards says he actually watched trees crash to the ground from his window - one of them falling right next to his home. He says Matthew took a toll on their home and he knew it would only take one more strong storm to finish the job.

"Well, it just started bobbing. It was leaning from Matthew and all that soaking rain we got just loosened the ground up, as you can see," Edwards said.

Edwards says he plans to clean it all up himself. He's got a chainsaw ready, he just needs the motivation. 

The 911 Center says people are chomping at the bit to get back home. Highway 99 was impassible for miles, but now thanks to the city, people coming back can now make it through. 

Crews have been working around the clock to clean up so they would have less work following the storm. They say the high call volume is mostly from people asking if the conditions are clear for them to come home. Next to safety, that's been their biggest priority. They're telling people that until they get the roads clear and water systems back up and running - stay put. The problem? People can't afford to. 

"They're running out of money. They didn't allow for how long they'd be gone, plus some of them have jobs and live day to day. They don't make that much money. They've got to try and get back to work and they don't have the money to stay an extended time somewhere else," said Ty Poppell, Director of Emergency Management, McIntosh County. 

County officials say they're going to continue to sympathize with those people. They are open for reentry but want to remind people that 70 percent of the county is still without power. Also, water systems and tree fall repair is still underway. 

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