Yesterday, Governor McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation order for all South Carolina coastal communities including Kiawah, and I-26 lane reversals began at noon today.
This evacuation is in anticipation of Hurricane Florence making landfall on the Southeastern coast late Thursday or early Friday. While most models continue to show the hurricane tracking toward North Carolina, officials warn that the path could shift again, and dangerous tropical conditions may 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. An evacuation order means the following:
– Should conditions deteriorate, public safety personnel including Sheriff’s deputies, the fire department, and EMS will leave the island.
KICA and town staffing will diminish or cease as employees comply with the order and seek safety.
– 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. Now that the evacuation order is in effect, residents may be required to take the official evacuation route through Kiawah’s 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.
– In order to facilitate the governor’s mandatory evacuation, KICA’s Main Gate will maintain normal operations on Wednesday, Sept. 12 through the business day. If the mandatory evacuation is still in place at the close of business, the inbound gate will be closed and personnel will leave the island. Gate operations will resume as soon as the evacuation order is lifted and personnel can make it back to the island.
– At this time, Commercial Access will remain open as long as the gate is open.
– The Sandcastle is closed and all classes and events are canceled until further notice. It will reopen as soon as we’re able to get employees back to the island.
– KICA’s Administrative offices closed at noon today.
– KICA’s pond system has been set to max drainage since yesterday morning. It typically takes 3-4 falling tide cycles to accomplish a significant draw down of water levels, as downstream ponds empty into the river, and then refill with water from upstream ponds. The overall system is draining, but each individual pond rises and falls throughout the process. It’s not unusual for large fish kills to occur as a result of this process.
– Town offices closed at noon today.
– 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.
Open for dinner tonight: Tomasso, Town Center Market, The Sanctuary
– Open for breakfast tomorrow: Jasmine Porch and Town Market
– The Station will be open through midafternoon 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