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Jack Adams
Jack Adams

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In Charleston, SC storm surge flooding was extensive. The tidal gauge in downtown Charleston recorded its third highest level ever, exceeded only by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and by an unnamed hurricane in 1940. (Note: Matthew's storm tide was exceeded by 2017's Hurricane Irma in Charleston) Severe beach erosion was reported from Isle of Palms and from Edisto Island where a post-storm survey conducted by NWS Charleston meteorologists indicated at least 70 homes were undermined or damaged, and roads were covered with up to five feet of sand.

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Storm surge damage occurred to homes on portions of Pawleys Island, with the first floor walls and doors of many beach houses knocked out by the surge. The Town Hall was flooded, and a long portion of Springs Avenue at the south end of Pawleys Island was covered with sand two to four feet deep. The mayor of Pawleys Island was quoted in news reports saying the frontal dunes on two-thirds of the island were destroyed. A newsletter for the DeBordieu Beach community referenced only minor sand loss and a single area of ocean overwash onto DeBordieu Boulevard.

A storm surge three to four feet above normal tide levels brought ocean overwash and beach erosion to Southeastern North Carolina. Erosion was particularly severe on Oak Island and the eastern end of Ocean Isle Beach, NC where water was flowing beneath homes at the ends of East 2nd and 3rd streets. Damage to the dunes on Oak Island was extensive and nearly complete in some areas. Local news video showed a 150 foot portion of the Oak Island pier collapsing during the height of the storm surge event. Damage to dunes was less extensive at Caswell Beach. On Bald Head Island the worst beach erosion occurred to the south- and west-facing beaches, with much less damage on the east-facing beach. Beach erosion was generally minor on the east-facing beaches of New Hanover County, although on Topsail Island the Surf City town manager was quoted in local newspapers saying escarpments up to ten feet high were cut into the beach. Although wind gusts of 60 to 75 mph were reported from a number of locations across Southeastern North Carolina, damage was primarily limited to trees and power lines with only minor damage to homes. 041b061a72


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