Fingers and toes were crossed as Hurricane Irma barreled toward the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Photography by Mark Staff
Fingers and toes were crossed as Hurricane Irma barreled toward the South Carolina Lowcountry. Officials up and down the coast warned of possible hurricane-force winds, torrential rains, dangerous storm surge and widespread power outages, prompting South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster to issue a mandatory evacuation for Hilton Head, Daufuskie and the other barrier islands of Beaufort County.
Thankfully, our worst fears were not realized — the storm was not nearly as destructive as Hurricane Matthew was in 2016. After slamming the Caribbean and Florida, Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm when it reached our doorstep on Monday, Sept. 11.
While Matthew was certainly a wind event, Irma was more of a water event. A storm surge of more than 12 feet swamped docks and had locals walking in waist-deep water. The most flooded areas were Sea Pines, Point Comfort, Shelter Cove, Hilton Head Plantation and the Squire Pope area. Photographer Mark Staff stayed behind to capture these images of the tropical storm and its impact.