Strong wind, rain from Nicole impact Tybee Island

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Tybee Island is seeing some impacts from Nicole after making landfall in Florida.

Of course, it’s not the best conditions to be out and about so a lot of people on Tybee Island have headed inside.

There were quite a few people hanging out in Stingrays earlier today, getting away from the wind and the rain.

Staff there said that they’ve had a steady stream of customers all day today, more than they had yesterday.

“I know the bridge was closed, so I didn’t expect anything at all, but so far it’s been kind of fun. There’s been lots of people come in, so that’s been great,” said Stingrays cook Jose Rosas.

“We had nothing else to do because the causeway- we couldn’t get off the island this morning. We were supposed to be in Savannah. So we’re just trying to enjoy the time, and feel very fortunate because other communities are going to get hit a lot harder than Tybee Island right now,” said Vince Zangaro, who is vacationing on Tybee Island.

At the East Gate entrance, it’s been raining heavily.

The crossover was flooded earlier today which has completely eroded the sand on either side of it.

Most folks around Tybee have brought in their garbage cans and anything else that could go flying around.

There have been a few people out walking the beach and one person swimming in the ocean, which Tybee officials are urging people not to do.

One person on the pier that said he’s not from Tybee and was surprised how quickly the storm rolled in today.

“You can tell the gusts of winds are horrific. You can see trash cans and water coming over the bridge. I wouldn’t be out in it if I hadn’t already gotten out here, honestly,” said Travis Anderson, who is visiting Tybee Island.

Highway 80, which is the only road going on and off Tybee Island, was closed down during high tide this morning as water washed over it.

Chatham County Police shut it down at Bull River Bridge around 10 a.m. and then opened it up an hour later.

It’s been open since then but that could change later this evening as high tide nears.

Tybee City Manager Shawn Gillen says they’re keeping a close eye on the tide this afternoon.

“We don’t know what tonight’s tide is gonna do. We anticipate it not being as high, but we don’t know. So we’re erring on the side of caution. We’ve cancelled our City Council meeting. We’re watching that tide cycle very closely, it’s gonna be around 8 or 9 o’clock tonight, so we’re really anxious about what that will do,” said City Manager Shawn Gillen.

Gillen adds that some areas of the island have seen more flooding than they typically would today.

Gillen says he does not expect the tide to be as high as it was this morning, but folks need to be prepared to stay put again.

“Make some plans if the tide does come up and the road is closed, and you have to be stuck on the island for whatever time. The tide will go out and the road will open back up, so just patient. We ask everybody just to be safe. Don’t try to drive where there’s water in the road.”

High tide is coming up here within the next couple of hours so if you need off the island, now is probably the time to head out.

Stick with WTOC throughout the night for the latest updates.