‘Nothing too crazy:’ Hilton Head Island residents grateful for low impacts from Idalia

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 10:45 PM EDT
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HITLON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - Idalia is now hours clear of our area, but WTOC has been on Hilton Head since noon Wednesday tracking the conditions.

“This one appears to be the storm that just wasn’t,” said Hilton Head resident Robert Harris.

Idalia huffed and puffed testing every ounce of strength in all kinds of objects.

But with all said and done, residents here are thankful it wasn’t worse.

“A lot of wind a lot of rain. Nothing too crazy like what we really expected,” said Hilton Head resident Alex Harris.

We saw conditions worsen as the storm approached, but the town’s mayor says the only thing damaged is property.

“We’re at 28-30 trees that have fallen whether over roadways, cars or houses,” said Mayor Alan Perry.

With zero injuries reported on Hilton Head Island at this time, efforts to take care of those few dozen trees are already taking priority.

”We’ve got crews out there already that are working on some of the trees. The fire department responded to that and got them cut off and moved away and then tomorrow they’ll go through and get them picked up but come the weekend it’ll be back to business back to normal.”

He expects Labor Day tourism business to go off like Idalia never even happened... another storm to be looked back on as nothing more than a stress test.

“It’s also a good time to run your programs to make certain you’re prepared for the big one.”

Some of the other concerns emergency management had coming into this storm were flooding and storm surge. As far as flooding goes, the mayor says they’ll assess Thursday morning with daylight.

Although he says around the island, there was more rain Tuesday and Wednesday morning than Wednesday afternoon. As far as storm surge goes, he says the tide never got as high as they were worried it could, and the storm moving through when it did helped mitigate any impacts they might’ve seen from that.