9/17/2018

Impact Kiawah’s Future, Run for the KICA Board

Are you considering running for the KICA board? It’s an opportunity for you to share your experience and ideas with the community; to represent the interests of your fellow property owners; to be part of the process that ensures the look and feel of Kiawah for the future.

The current Nominating Committee was appointed by the KICA board at its July meeting to assist with identifying potential candidates that represent the breadth and depth of our community. Property owners can contact the committee directly at nominatingcmte@kica.us to discuss this opportunity. Any KICA member may run for board service by submitting an application package, which includes background information and a statement of focus. These statements will be published along with other election materials.

For specific filing details or to obtain application materials and assistance with completing the process, contact holly.newman@kica.us. To view the Nominating Committee’s time line and charter, as well as other board information, visit kica.us/board. The deadline for applications will be Oct. 16.

Diverse board leadership is vital to the continued success of our Kiawah community, and the board thanks you in advance for your interest in making an impact on the future of the island.


9/15/2018

KICA Resumes Gate Operations

As previously communicated, Governor McMaster has lifted the evacuation order affecting Kiawah Island. At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, Charleston County Sherriff’s turned island access responsibility over to KICA. We are extremely grateful to the Town of Kiawah and the Sherriff’s deputies for maintaining controlled access over the last several days.

Updates:
– KICA’s I.T. Department is on island to bring gate and phone systems online. Until this occurs, member calls to the gate may forward to voicemail. As always, call 911 in the event of an emergency.
– KICA Land Management crews will report to the island at 8 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday) to begin clean-up. The majority of their efforts will be focused on blowing leaves, pine needles, and other debris from roadways. We ask those who are driving around the island to use caution as employees will be on or near the roads.
– KICA’s Lakes Management is on island reestablishing normal drainage operations. It may take 4-5 days for water levels to return to normal. Fish kills and unpleasant odors could occur during this process as well.
– The Sandcastle will reopen at noon tomorrow. After-hours fingerprint access is available today for those who have signed up for that option.
– Beachwalker Center and all administrative functions will open Monday on a normal schedule.
– Commercial Access will resume on Monday.

KICA extends its thanks to the Town of Kiawah Island and all those involved in Kiawah’s Emergency Management plan. The unique governance structure on Kiawah requires significant coordination between entities and a spirit of cooperation. Special thanks go Mayor Weaver and town administrator Stephanie Tillerson for their leadership.


9/15/2018

Notice from Mayor Weaver: Evacuation Order Lifted for Kiawah Island

Governor McMaster has lifted the evacuation order affecting Kiawah Island. There are no additional restrictions to residents returning to the island.

All public safety personnel are on the island, and all public services (water and electric) have continued to operate without interruption.

Sheriff Deputies will no longer be restricting access at Betsy Kerrison once KICA security establishes operations at the main gate.

All Kiawah Island roads are passable, although there is, and will continue to be, some minor debris on our roads. KICA will communicate directly to residents any additional information concerning road conditions or clean-up activity.

All commercial businesses, including those at Freshfields, remain closed.

If you are intending to return to Kiawah today or early tomorrow, there is still significant weather on many routes to the coast, so plan accordingly.
Craig Weaver

Mayor, Town of Kiawah Island


9/14/2018

Hurricane Florence Update – Sept. 14

Today, the town participated in a conference call with Charleston County Emergency Management Department and regional counterparts to discuss Hurricane Florence. Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina this morning and is moving at a very slow pace to the southwest dumping significant rain to the areas in its path. The information below is based on the expected impact at this time. Due to the nature of this storm, conditions are subject to change. At this time, Governor McMaster has not indicated when he intends to lift the evacuation order.

Forecast:

With respect to the Charleston area and Kiawah impacts, the various models and predictions have taken us on a roller coaster ride over the last few days. The latest forecast suggests that winds will pick up late this afternoon around 4 p.m. Sustained winds could be in the 30 mph range, with gusts reaching tropical storm strength. These conditions could last throughout tonight and through the day tomorrow. Along with the wind, rainy conditions are expected for most of the weekend.

Likely Conditions on Kiawah:

Property damage isn’t likely with these conditions, but the combination of wet/saturated soil and higher than average winds can still uproot trees, break limbs and scatter debris. Disruption of power remains possible. While pond levels are low, some flooding remains possible, which could be exacerbated by the high tides noted below:

– Saturday: 12:49 a.m. and 1:34 p.m.
– Sunday 1:39 a.m. and 2:28 p.m.

Current Island Access:

Right now, Charleston County deputies continue to provide controlled access to Kiawah to residents and essential staff. Post-storm, access to the island will be restricted during the damage assessment. If the assessment indicates that roads are not passable, residents will not be able to get back on until the roads are passable.

The storm has not reached Kiawah and if you are considering traveling to the island, we would discourage you for several reasons:

– Kiawah is still under the mandatory evacuation order issued by the governor.
– Conditions could become severe during travel this evening or tomorrow.
– We still have the potential for loss of power to the island.
– All businesses on and near the island are closed.
– Public safety support (security, fire and EMS) are largely off the island and response times may be delayed.

Post Storm Re-Entry to the Charleston area and Kiawah:

Tomorrow, we will have a better gauge on what the storm will bring and re-entry time frames. Kiawah’s re-entry plans are contingent upon the storm passing and access to the Charleston area.

Governor McMaster has to first lift the evacuation order. Mayor Weaver will then work with all the entities to open the island as quickly as possible and will announce re-entry date and time. Re-entry is contingent upon the completion of road damage assessment which includes assessing debris, flooding and general safety conditions of the roads. The main arteries of Kiawah Island Parkway, Governors Drive, and Ocean Course need to be navigable. The damage assessment is tentatively scheduled to begin Sunday at 7 a.m.

Electricity and Sewage System:

In regard to electricity, the best-case scenario is that power is present island wide. However, it is possible that power will be interrupted. The town will permit re-entry to the island prior to full power being restored; however residents should expect uncomfortable conditions such as the absence of hot water, refrigeration and HVAC systems.

Kiawah Island’s sewage systems depends on a series of electric pumps to remove the waste water. If this occurs, residents will need to reduce flushing in order to avoid a backup of the waste water system on the island.

All of this is subject to change if storm conditions change.

Island Update:

– Berkeley Electric Cooperative cannot guarantee uninterrupted power during a major outage and will not be able to provide a timeline for restoration until after the storm has passed and the damage to the system can be evaluated. Berkeley Electric Cooperative will have crews on-site at key locations to monitor water levels. In the event that water levels threaten to flood the substations, the decision will be made to shut them down before suffering catastrophic damage. Although this may be inconvenient, this process will actually speed up recovery times.
– Debris management crews are on standby and will be deployed as soon as possible.
– Commercial access to the island is closed.
– The Station is closed but gas pumps are on for credit purchases as long as there is power to the island.
– KICA’s pond system has been set to max drainage since Tuesday in anticipation of heavy rain and flooding.
– County traffic is not being restricted on I-26.
– Please be aware there are strong rip currents and high surf along the Atlantic Ocean. Please do not enter the water.
– If conditions warrant, critical public safety services including Fire and EMS may withdraw their equipment and personnel from the island.
– If conditions are severe, power and water systems could be shut down. If that were to happen we will communicate that message promptly.
– If you have special needs regarding medical assistance, contact the Disabilities Resource Center at (843) 225-5080.
– Charleston County Citizen Information Line is open 24 hours daily at 843-746-3900.
– For Freshfields Village store operations, visit www.freshfieldsvillage.com/village-hours


9/13/2018

Downgraded Hurricane Florence Still a Dangerous Storm

Today, the town participated in a conference call with Charleston County Emergency Management Department and regional counterparts to discuss Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Florence has downgraded to a category 2 but is a dangerous storm and has grown in size. As an interesting point, Florence has a larger radius than Hurricane Hugo. Charleston County is still under a hurricane watch with conditions expected to deteriorate on Friday and last through Sunday. I-26 lane reversal will end today at 6 p.m.

Kiawah may still experience tropical storm force winds, sustained wind speeds of 30-35 mph, wind gusts up to 75 mph and storm surge from 2-4 ft. Kiawah is still likely to experience power outages, large debris, downed trees, and flooding on low lying roads.

Once the storm has passed, the governor has to first lift the evacuation order and then Mayor Weaver has to announce island re-entry date and time. Re-entry will not be permitted until after damage assessment is complete.

Remember after Matthew re-entry was not allowed for 48 hours. Residents should plan on a similar situation if conditions are similar to Matthew.

Island Update:

– Charleston County Sheriff Deputies have established a control point on Betsy Kerrison just before the roundabout and is restricting access to Kiawah and Seabrook islands to only property owners and essential staff.
– Berkeley Electric Cooperative is urging residents of the islands to prepare for extended outages. This is especially important for members who have medical needs requiring power. Berkeley Electric Cooperative cannot guarantee uninterrupted power during a major outage and will not be able to provide a timeline for restoration until after the storm has passed and the damage to the system can be evaluated. Berkeley Electric Cooperative will have crews on-site at key locations to monitor water levels. In the event that water levels threaten to flood the substations, the decision will be made to shut them down before suffering catastrophic damage. Although this may be inconvenient, this process will actually speed up recovery times.
– Debris management crews are on standby and will be deployed as soon as possible.
– Commercial access to the island is closed.
– The Station is closed but gas pumps are on for credit purchases as long as there is power to the island.
– KICA’s pond system has been set to max drainage since Tuesday in anticipation of heavy rain and flooding.
– County traffic is not being restricted except on I-26 which will end today at 6 p.m.
– Please be aware there are already strong rip currents and high surf along the Atlantic Ocean. Please do not enter the water.
– If conditions warrant, critical public safety services including Fire and EMS may withdraw their equipment and personnel from the island.
– If conditions are severe, power and water systems could be shut down. If that were to happen we will communicate that message promptly.
– If you have special needs regarding medical assistance, contact the Disabilities Resource Center at (843) 225-5080.
– Charleston County Citizen Information Line is open 24 hours daily at 843-746-3900.
– For Freshfields Village store operations, visit www.freshfieldsvillage.com/village-hours

 

Re-entry:

– Residents will not be allowed back into the town until deemed safe for reentry and authorized by the Mayor. We will release that information via our website email notifications, social media and CodeRED.
– Emergency teams will be evaluating through the duration of the event.


9/13/2018

Hurricane Florence – Statement from Mayor Weaver

During the past two days, the forecast for Kiawah has changed with each hurricane center update. Yesterday, we were planning for more prolonged tropical storm conditions. This morning the forecast is more positive. Since Kiawah is not expected to be impacted until late Saturday or Sunday, this will undoubtedly change again.

Based on the weather advice available to us, the town and KICA are planning for a storm scenario much like Hurricane Matthew two years ago. Some tropical storm winds, with higher gusts, and heavy rain. We are not expecting hurricane force winds and we are not expecting significant storm surge.

If you were on Kiawah two years ago, you will remember the impact from Matthew. We saw a great deal of debris from trees and other vegetation, a few uprooted trees, heavy street flooding, especially on the Parkway, and damage to the beach and walkovers. We did not see damage to structures, and because of the minimal storm surge, there was little flooding of homes.
The town and KICA are already coordinating to make a quick assessment of the island as soon as the weather clears and commence clean up, so residents can return as quickly as possible. Our goal is for an immediate return, but please recall that with Matthew work crews needed about 24 hours after the storm passed to get our major roads open, and electrical power did not return until after that.

The island is quiet. It appears that almost all residents have left, and all businesses are closed. Sheriff Deputies are stopping motorists at Betsy Kerrison, so the island is secured.

The town will continue to send out its regular updates each afternoon. We will update you on the forecast, conditions on the island, and information to help you plan for your post-storm return.

Berkeley Electric has urged residents of the islands to prepare for extended outages. This is especially important for members who have medical needs requiring power. Berkeley Electric Cooperative cannot guarantee uninterrupted power during a major outage and will not be able to provide a timeline for restoration until after the storm has passed and the damage to the system can be evaluated. We will keep you advised.

As I said in my message Tuesday, the forecast for this storm is fluid and we hope that all of this caution and planning is unnecessary. But we are continually reminded that this storm has been difficult to predict, and these expectations can change. You should be assured that the employees of the each of Kiawah’s governing, business, and public safety organizations are prepared and working as a team to deal with whatever might occur.

Craig Weaver
Mayor, Town of Kiawah Island


9/12/2018

Hurricane Florence Update – Island Access Restricted

Hurricane Florence has shifted in the last 12 hours. While expected landfall is in North Carolina or the northeast quadrant of South Carolina, Charleston County is under a hurricane watch and is going to see severe weather conditions. Conditions are expected to deteriorate into Friday, with the effects of the storm lasting at least through Sunday. Kiawah could experience at least tropical force winds, with sustained wind speeds of 30-35 mph and wind gusts up to 75 mph.

Kiawah is likely to experience conditions similar to Hurricane Matthew. If you have not already evacuated, we encourage you to do so. If you choose to stay, you can expect power outages, large debris, downed trees and flooding on low lying roads.

Once the storm has passed the governor has to first lift the evacuation order and then the mayor has to announce island reentry date and time. Reentry will not be permitted until after damage assessment is complete. Remember after Matthew reentry was not allowed for 48 hours. Residents should plan on a similar situation if conditions are similar to Matthew.

Today at 5 p.m., Charleston County Sheriff Deputies will be restricting access to Kiawah and Seabrook islands to only property owners and essential staff. Deputies will establish a control point on Betsy Kerrison, just before the roundabout.

This restriction of public entry to the two islands will be in addition to KICA and Sheriff coverage on the island and provide evacuated residents greater assurance that the island and their homes are secure. If conditions warrant, critical public safety services including law enforcement, fire and EMS may withdrawal personnel from the island.

The town is in contact with Kiawah Island Utility and Berkeley Electric and we will pass long any information regarding their services.

Island Update:

– Commercial access to the island will end at close of business today.
– The Station is now closed but gas pumps will be left on for credit purchases as long as there is power to the island.
– KICA’s pond system has been set to max drainage since Tuesday. 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.
– For Freshfields Village store operations, visit http://www.freshfieldsvillage.com/village-hours
– County traffic is not being restricted except on I-26.
– Please be aware there are already strong rip currents and high surf along the Atlantic Ocean. Please do not enter the water.
– Concurrent with the evacuation order and if condition warrant, critical public safety services including fire and EMS may withdrawal their equipment and personnel from the island.
– If conditions are severe, power and water systems could be shut down. If that were to happen we will communicate that message promptly.
– If you have special needs regarding medical assistance, contact the Disabilities Resource Center at (843) 225-5080.
– Charleston County Citizen Information Line is open 24 hours daily at 843-746-3900.

Reentry:

– Residents will not be allowed back into the Town until deemed safe for reentry and authorized by the mayor. We will release that information via our website (www.kiawahisland.org), email notifications, social media and CodeRED.
– Emergency teams will be evaluating through the duration of the event.


9/11/2018

Hurricane Florence Updates and Information

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.

KICA Update:
– 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.

Island Update:
– 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


9/11/2018

Important Message from Mayor Weaver on Hurricane Florence

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.

 

Craig Weaver

Mayor, Town of Kiawah Island


9/10/2018

Governor Issues Mandatory Evacuation Order

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 Update

– 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.

Island Update

– 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