KICA works very closely with the Town of Kiawah Island (TOKI) and other agencies in preparation for storms or other emergencies, and we are posting this message on behalf of TOKI.
The order does not require that all residents leave the island by today at noon. If you have not already prepared, please take the necessary time to assure that your property is secure. Especially store or secure objects outdoors that might endanger other property in high winds and protect personal property at ground level that might be susceptible to localized flooding. It’s better to protect against all three potential effects of a storm – wind, rain and storm surge – than try to guess which of these, if any, Kiawah Island might experience.
Please don’t delay. At some point support from town, KICA, fire, EMS and law enforcement will diminish to minimum levels as these employees also comply with the evacuation order. Any town, KICA or public safety personnel that remain on the island will be focused only on critical operations and security. Similarly, local commercial operations will be winding down over the next day or two as well.
We will stay in continued contact with the providers of critical services, including water and sewer, power and communication. While each is committed to keeping their services operating, we know from our experience in previous weather events that these services, especially power and communications, are vulnerable to disruption, particularly if the island experiences extended heavy rain, higher than normal tides, or storm surge. Kiawah Island Utility and Berkeley Electric participate in the town’s emergency management process and we will inform you of any change affecting these provider’s services.
We and KICA will allow continued access onto the island for contractor and service personnel to assist residents in securing property, as long as weather conditions allow and as long as we have sufficient town, KICA and public safety support on the island. You should anticipate that at some point, as with both Hurricane Mathew and Tropical Storm Irma, we will close or restrict access onto Kiawah. This is done to better secure the island and your property while individual and commercial property owners are absent. We will issue a communication prior to taking this action. KICA will also communicate separately should they initiate any more restrictive measures affecting roads inside the main gate.
As in past weather events, our goal is to provide continual communication to our residents and property owners and we will keep up a regular communication schedule. Let’s hope that by the weekend the storm has passed, had little or no impact on Kiawah, and all this preparation will have been unnecessary. But let’s also remember that a tropical storm is unpredictable, and even if we are not in its direct path the effects can extend along a wide path.
Mayor, Town of Kiawah Island