Today at 2:30 p.m., Governor McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation order for all South Carolina coastal communities including Kiawah beginning tomorrow at 12 p.m., and I-26 lane reversals will begin at that time.
This evacuation is in anticipation of Hurricane Florence making landfall on the Southeastern coast later this week. While most models currently show the hurricane track has shifted toward toward North Carolina, officials warn that the path could shift again, and dangerous tropical conditions could extend more than 100 miles from the center of the storm.
While we don’t know with certainty where landfall will occur, we encourage residents to comply with the evacuation order. Once an order is issued, it means the following:
– Should conditions deteriorate, public safety personnel including Sherriff’s deputies, the fire department, and EMS will leave the island
– The island could lose power, internet, and other utilities, perhaps for an extended period
– Portions of the island and surrounding area could be impassable for an extended period
– Access to the island could be closed
Official Evacuation Route
– One benefit to early evacuation is that you may choose your own route. After the evacuation order is in effect, residents may be required to take the official evacuation route through a predetermined Zone.
– Kiawah/Seabrook Island is in ZONE A: Bohicket/Main Rd. to US 17. US 17 south to SC 64 to Walterboro, then to North Augusta.
– KICA’s Administrative offices will be open tomorrow, but other facilities including the Sandcastle will be closed so staff can execute shutdown plans.
– Security will remain on island as long as it is deemed safe and personnel are able to get to Kiawah. It is uncertain at this time how the lane reversals and evacuation order will impact our ability to get personnel to Kiawah, many of whom rely on I-26 to get to Kiawah.
– KICA’s pond system has been set to max drainage. It typically takes 3-4 falling tide cycles to accomplish a significant draw down of the ponds.
– Contractors will be allowed to access the island on Tuesday. It is possible that commercial access will be restricted at some point on Wednesday.
– Town offices will be closed beginning tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.
– Trash collection is suspended for the rest of the week. Tentatively trash service will resume on Monday. Please make sure your cans are pulled in and secure.
– Kiawah Island Golf Resort facilities will close on a staggered schedule, with all resort operations closed by Wednesday afternoon.
– The Station will be open through mid-afternoon Thursday, after which the gas pumps will be left on for credit purchases as long as there is power to the island. Pumps will be filled each day as long as they can get out to the Station.
– If conditions are severe, power and water systems could be shut down.
– For Freshfields Village operation updates visit www.freshfieldsvillage.com/village-hours