Hilton Head residents impacted by Elsa watch Ian closely

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - Some Hilton Head residents have already gone through storms in the past. One specifically in Sea Pines where a tree crushed a home last year during Tropical Storm Elsa.

Fifteen months later and it’s a drastic difference. You can see where that tree was uprooted and the path it took to fall right through the middle of the home, which has now been rebuilt and is nearly complete. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but this area of Sea Pines was one of the most affected by Elsa last year.

Because of that, WTOC checked in with people who live in the neighborhood today to see how they’re feeling as Ian approaches.

“Oh my god it was the worst. I mean, things were hitting my roof and I couldn’t even walk in my driveway,” neighbor Joan Carrollo said.

The strength of Elsa is still evident on the grounds of this neighborhood, as well as in the minds of those that live here.

“As I drove around a couple days later that we got it the worst,” neighbor Tim McGowan said.

Between the two of them, they’ve lived here for 40 years and seen all kinds of storms.

“It’s tough, but if you love this island… you stay here.”

With trees all around, and last year’s damages still fresh. The concern is there leading up to Ian.

“With the winds I don’t like staying and the noise and hearing things rattle around and bounce off the house and all, but you just got to hunker down and wait it out.”

The worst part, he says, is the uncertainty, as many folks here will only evacuate if need be.

“The whole neighborhood’s watching and right now it doesn’t seem like anybody’s leaving so we’ll see.”

This home is proof that even if damaged, there is a path forward.