Colleton County Fire-Rescue


27/August - 31/August/2023 - Hurricane Idalia

Incident # multiple - Fire-Rescue and its Emergency Support Function Partner Agencies prepared and responded to the effects of Hurricane Idalia. Beginning Sunday 27-August, agencies began monitoring the progress of the fast moving hurricane as it developed in the Gulf of Mexico. It became apparent the storm's path would pass over SC and become a statewide event with high winds and heavy rains. The County's Emergency Operations Center was activated Tuesday and staffed throughout the storm. Local Government Offices and schools closed Wednesday and Thursday and citizens prepared for the impacts of the storm. Idalia weakened to a Tropical Storm just before passing directly through the center of Colleton County.  Winds and heavy rains caused many downed trees and flooding. The west side of Colleton suffered the heaviest damage. Responders had difficulty reaching some emergency scenes due to downed trees which block roads and flooded roadways. At one location Firefighters were at a tree that fell across Lowcountry Highway. While at the scene, a second tree fell behind the responders making it impossible for them to leave. While there, a passenger car ran into one of the trees. The occupants of the vehicle suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Colleton Medical Center for evaluation. Sheriff's Deputies patrolled the west side of the county with chainsaws and were able to open up many roads. SCDOT crews and Power Company crews worked throughout the night and Thursday to open roads and restore power. 
The storm hit during high tide and Edisto Beach received a great deal of storm surge. Several sand dunes failed resulting in water and sand washing onto Highway 174 (Palmetto Blvd). Power was out for the most of the night. Flooding also impacted the backside of the Town with Dock Site Road completely blocked and the Wyndham Resort had many streets flooded. Town officials and SCDOT were out in force following the storm to restore the Town to normal.

On the mainland, Several roadways received damage from flooding. The worst was on Cayce Road near Broxton Bridge Hwy (US Hwy 601). A culvert pipe under Cayce Road washed out causing the road to be closed. The heavy rains resulted in unusual water levels in the area's rivers. Ireland Creek which flooded only weeks ago was flooded again. As the water from the midlands flows south to the Atlantic Ocean, the Edisto River at Givhans entered flood stage on Friday (9/1) and is expected to peak by Tuesday. Citizens are forewarned of the dangers in the flooded Edisto as high waters and swift currents create dangerous hazards for persons in or near the waters. 

The Emergency Operations Center monitored over 6,000 power outages during the peak of the storm and received 170 reports of damage with 81 road closures that were quickly cleared by SCDOT and emergency responders.  The tide gauge at Big Bay Creek recorded a 9.3 foot tide on Wednesday night.  A Code RED message was sent to Colleton County residents on Wednesday night asking them to "Stay Home, Stay Safe."  To register for Code RED messages, go to
Fire-Rescue appreciates the hard work of the Sheriff's Office, SCDOT, Power Companies and all of our Emergency Support Function agencies that were poised and prepared to respond if the impacts to Colleton County would have been greater.