The morning after: Everything you need to know about what happened with Irma in Charleston
Before smacking Charleston, Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm but doubled in size. Her strength was felt early as she brought historic sea-level crests to Charleston Harbor, tornado warnings and winds that blew dangerous debris along Lowcountry streets. | SEND PHOTOS AND VIDEO
Wind gusts as high as 72 mph were recorded at Folly Beach. More than seven inches of rain were measured on James Island, 8.73 inches in Adams Run.
People all over the area who watched Irma from the safety of their homes described the storm as more powerful than Hurricane Matthew. In some ways, they were correct. Storm surge in Charleston Harbor surpassed levels of Hurricane Matthew, bringing feet of water to areas known for tidal flooding and some surrounding locations. People were urged by officials to stay out of downtown Charleston. Trash and debris were scattered on streets, interstate highways and in parks.
It wasn't just Charleston that was smacked by the storm. Irma did not need to hit the area directly to deliver a deadly blow. Streets and homes in Hanahan, Berkeley County, North Charleston and Dorchester County were flooded. Some people returned to their neighborhoods after a wild day at work only to learn they couldn't access their homes. SCE&G reported more than 60,000 homes under their service were without power Tuesday morning. One storm-related death was reported in the Upstate after a man was struck by a tree limb. Stories of tornadoes yet to be confirmed by the National Weather Service are circulating among social circles.
Schools and government offices remain closed as South Carolina awaits another update from Governor Henry McMaster. All essential staff members with Berkeley County School District have been asked to return to work if it's safe.
Edisto Beach - VIEW VIDEO
Officials report sand dunes placed on the beach previously destroyed by Hurricane Matthew were again washed away. There was several feet of water on streets and power lines down. There were water rescues. The police department warned those who did not evacuate to shelter in place.
Isle of Palms - VIEW VIDEO
The beach took a beating from strong surf and heavy winds. At least one waterspout was spotted. Colorfully-painted beach trash barrels were blown onto side streets, some covered by water.
Folly Beach - VIEW VIDEO
What was provided by Hurricane Hugo was taken by Tropical Storm Irma. The Folly Boat was thrown and pushed from its location along Folly Road to James Island, where it was caught by a dock. It's currently unknown if the boat will be taken back to Folly Road. A crufew on Folly Beach ended at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Flood water in several areas had receeded by 6:30 a.m. In other areas, work crews were working to pick up debris and pump away murky water from the storm. Portions of nearly every beach walkway were washed away by the storm.
Officials in North Charleston are asking residents to report storm damage. CLICK HERE Roads were flooded, rail lines were flooded, and North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey was out getting a look for himself Monday evening at how bad the area was impacted.
There were reports of what may have been a tornado in the area. Residents said they were blocked in some neighborhoods by flood waters. A home near Legare Farms was badly damaged, and The National Weather Service will have a team of investigators on the property today.
Lowcountry power outages (as of 6 a.m.)
More than 35,000 people were without power
• Jasper County- More than 1,200
• Beaufort County- More than 12,000
• Walterboro- More than 4,000
• Charleston County- More than 15,000
• Dorchester County- More than 1,000
• Berkeley County- More than 1,600
Impact on flights
Several flights departing from Chareston were canceled or delayed Tuesday morning. CLICK HERE for an updated list of arrivals and departures at Charleston International Airport.
Updated forecast - latest update here
As Irma departs, our weather today looks considerably calmer. We're still looking for lingering showers and storms and some gusty breezes, but conditions will steadily improve as we move into the morning hours. Today actually looks fairly nice with moderate breezes, and highs in the upper 80's. The rest of the week looks very typical for mid-September with highs in the mid to upper 80's and a small chance of afternoon thunderstorms every day.
Irma, now a tropical depression, has winds of 35 mph. It is moving north-northwest at 17 mph. Hurricane Jose is a Category 1 hurricane. It's forecast to stay over the open waters of the Atlantic for now, but it is worth watching.
There is a HIGH RISK for rip currents at area beaches, high surf and a small craft advisories are in effect through this evening.