'Deadly silence' on Edisto Beach before Irma delivered devastating punches


Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby described it as a "deadly silence." At a press conference on the island Tuesday afternoon she said it gave her a bad feeling.

The mayor was talking about the days leading up to Tropical Storm Irma's impact on Edisto Beach. She said nature told her what she needed to know.

RELATED: Video shows dramatic rescue on Edisto Beach

"The animals actually stock up on food," she said. "They're like frantic, and then, you will get up in the morning and there will not be a bird anywhere. There will not be an animal stir. You will not even hear frogs croak. No crickets, anything."

They mayor said she first began to notice the signs Friday afternoon.

"I kept looking at the computer models. I kept listening to the weather stations. I'm going, 'this just does not work together for me,'" she said.

The mayor said the bad feeling she had about everything made her thankful of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's order to evacuate the island.

"They (the state) reinforced my concern," Mayor Darby said.

By Sunday she said you could almost see the effects of a drop in pressure.

"We knew it was coming."

Tropical Storm Irma lashed out at Edisto Beach with wind gusts measured higher than 70 mph. Storm surge pounded dunes just rebuilt after being destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. Irma flooded streets of the island community with several feet of water, and she knocked the lights out of the laid-back island town.

The purpose of the mayor's press conference Tuesday was to give island residents a heads up on what they would find at home.

Sewer issues, a boil water advisory, standing water and a danger of electrical fire -- all were among her top concerns.

Edisto Beach reopened to property owners at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Business owners and property management agencies were able to return to the island, but only two people at a time.

"Bring your identification and proof of residence, business or property management affiliation," a release from the mayor's office states.

The mayor also asks people only bring one vehicle per residence, business or property. She hoped people would use Tuesday to evaluate damage and schedule repairs for no earlier than Wednesday at 8 a.m.

There will be a curfew on the island from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. Wednesday. They mayor said there's a concern about hazardous obstacles in the area.

She encourages residents to bring water and non-perishable food for several days. The grocery store on the island is closed, and a major water leak requires water to be shut off for several hours for repairs.

Below is more from the mayor as she addresses concerns on Edisto Beach:

"Conserve water and septic/sewer use. Restrict flushing unless absolutely necessary. We are repairing and bringing online the pump stations and the wells. Golf carts must be unplugged immediately and moved from under the house. Fire is a danger following any disaster so also please do not plug up any compromised electrical device.

Golf carts must be unplugged immediately and moved from under the house. Fire is a danger following any disaster so also please do not plug up any compromised electrical device.

We still have standing water in many places as well as some sand on Palmetto. You may have to park in a dry area and walk to your residence. Signs will be posted for areas that are closed. Do not enter standing water as it may contain hazards. Bring protective clothing including boots, gloves, insect repellent, long sleeved shirts and pants.

Accessible areas will have garbage pickup tomorrow.

The Red Cross will have cleaning supplies and water at Bay Creek Park."

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