CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster headed to Charleston Friday afternoon as part of a tour along the Palmetto State’s coast from Hurricane Dorian.
He joined Tri-County leaders at the Charleston County Emergency Operations Center in North Charleston after flying in from the Grand Strand.
“It was not nearly as bad as it could have been. It was not nearly as bad as was projected,” McMaster said. “But I’ll remind everybody that we live in Paradise and one of the prices for living in Paradise is you have hurricanes from time to time.”
McMaster said the key to the team’s success is in cooperation, collaboration and communication. He also thanked volunteers.
“The Red Cross Salvation Army list is quite long but without them, we would not be able to do the things that we get done,” he said.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg called the coordination between state, county and municipal leaders an “incredible team effort.”
“I don’t think most citizens realize the level of collaboration among your different levels of government, and I must tell you that it’s really remarkable, particularly in times like this,” he said.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie related a message from a Mount Pleasant resident.
“I got a message today from a citizen who said, ‘I’ve lived in Mount Pleasant 25 years I’ve done this numerous times, and it has never been better. We’ve never been more prepared, and it was never more seamless and I want to thank everybody for doing that,’” Haynie said.
Shortly before 4 p.m., he spoke with reporters in Georgetown County where he and South Carolina Transportation Secretary Christy Hall had been touring damage there by chopper.
“This was a an unusual hurricane,” he said of Dorian. “None of them are the same, because they never did go where they’re supposed to go.”
He said the storm traveled only about 25 miles over 24 hours, which was “unprecedented.” A buoy off Charleston registered wind gusts of 90 to 92 mph and 87 mph on the coastline.
“We were fortunate that the wind kept it all off the coast,” McMaster said. “Within five or 10 miles in closer we would really taken some blows.”
McMaster praised his Team South Carolina, made up of state leaders, as well as county emergency management teams and a legion of volunteers that helped get the state braced for the storm. Everything, he said, went precisely according to plan and there was no loss of life in South Carolina.
Hall said work to clear downed trees from roads on Pawleys Island was well underway as well as the removal of three to four feet of sand covering some roads.
“But for the most part, most of the highways are clear and very little interruption and the ability to travel throughout this region,” Hall said.