Damage assessments begin on land, sea following Hurricane Matthew
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Damage is widespread across the Charleston peninsula following Hurricane Matthew.
The storm surge caused damage to the Battery leaving poles without signs, sea grass all over the sidewalk and the park now filled with ponds.
"It did get a good bit of damage, but it's not as much damage as I thought," said Michael Fort, of Charleston. "As everyone I think thought it was going to be."
The battery is used to seeing damage when severe weather strikes Charleston, but with Matthew's intense storm surge coming overnight, the popular tourist spot took on a different look.
"I expected some flooding like this and heavy winds so I was pretty spot on," said Kate Hogan, also of Charleston.
Meanwhile, Matthew caused some other changes to happen overnight on the battery, specifically moving things along the sea wall.
Two cars parked along the curb Friday night, were found in the middle of the road Saturday morning.
"What? No way!" Fort said.
One car sustained more damage than the other, with several popped tires.
"I think we're slowly seeing the damage more than we thought," Hogan said. "We left two eggs on our fence back at our house on Calhoun Street and they were still there."
While cleanup will resume on land, assessments are already underway on the water.
Crews with the U.S. Coast Guard sector in Charleston headed out on the water for the first time Saturday evening to do a baseline assessment of the damage.
"We're expecting to see the storm surge impact the piers, potentially vessels getting off station if they're anchored out and a variety of marine debris depending on what's in the low lying area," said Lt. J.B. Zorn, with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Zorn added crews are heading out on the water a day earlier than expected, which will make things a bit easier moving forward.
"I think we'll know more tomorrow," he said. "We've got a number of assets that will be getting out. Our port assessment teams, coast guard air assets taking a survey of the coast and the harbor here."
The Coast Guard is working closely with its port partners to determine when it will be safe to bring larger vessels back into the area, like cruise ships and cargo ships.
They are also urging all mariners to listen to law enforcement, marine enforcement, and look at the weather conditions before heading back on the water.
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