‘The whole island got lucky:’ Hilton Head Island returns to normal after little impact from Ian

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 10:54 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - It’s a quieter Friday night than usual on Hilton Head Island as many restaurants closed down ahead of Ian’s arrival.

Ian brought strong winds and rain to the island. But, other than some downed trees, the island seems to have come out relatively unscathed.

“Nothing’s open. Because they’re ready,” said Otter Aghazarian, who is visiting from Colorado.

If you walked around Hilton Head Island Friday night, you were bound to come across signs like that said “closed, waiting for Hurricane Ian to pass.”

And, while many of those bars and restaurants stayed closed Friday evening... a sense of normalcy, returned.

Just hours before, after Ian passed through, people flocked to the beach.

“I’m like, I’m going to go down to the beach! See how it looks, what came up on the shore.”

Otter Aghazarian came up from Florida right as Ian was about to hit.

“And they’re like, ‘It’s going to hit Georgia. It’s going to hit South Carolina.’ And I’m like, ‘uh-oh, it’s coming right toward me!’ So I bought a bunch of water, food. I was ready to hunker down.”

Kathy Van Dyke and her husband met in Hilton Head Thursday just ahead of the storm.

“It’s kind of a new adventure. We like to do adventurous things. I think our biggest fear was that the water was going to surge and bury the car.”

But, as of Friday night, we haven’t heard any reports of injuries or major damage.

Something people on the island are grateful for.

“Very lucky. When I was watching the news, and looking at some of the devastation, some of the people that have died... I was like, ‘Whew! I got really lucky here.’ The whole island got lucky,” said Aghazarian.

The town did tweet out a reminder for people to be careful outdoors overnight.

They say the area saw wind gusts over 50 miles-per-hour from Ian knocking down at least six trees.