Flights were grounded. Roads closed to travel. Shipping was halted. But the overall impact of Hurricane Sandy on the Lowcountry isn’t going to be much more than that.
In fact, Charleston International Airport managers expected delayed flights to resume by today to New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
“In the long run, (the storm’s impact) might be a very minor blip,” said Calvin Blackwell, College of Charleston economics associate professor.
The storm and call traffic do not appear to have seriously disrupted cellphone and land line service. Verizon Wireless and AT&T customers in Charleston reported texts and phone calls going through.
Getting anything else moved was a problem Tuesday.
“There’s nothing going anywhere north of Charlotte,” said airport spokeswoman Becky Beaman.
Roads and bridges were closed from the mountains of North Carolina into New England by storm damage, flooding and snow. “Drivers are advised to monitor the road and weather conditions in areas they may be traveling through over the next few days,” said Angela Vogel Daley, AAA Carolinas public relations manager.
That stopped shipping traffic. Packages were stored in waiting at the UPS Store on Folly Road, and customers advised they would be shipped when roads became passable, said Diane Carroll, store manager.
“That’s pretty much all we can tell them,” she said.
Snow accumulated a half-foot and higher in places in North Carolina, and more than 2 feet in Maryland by early afternoon Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in Asheville.
DirecTV lost high-definition channels for several hours Monday because of the storm, but the channels were restored early Tuesday, said spokesman Robert Mercer.
The odd disturbance of satellite transmission during the storm had a down-to-earth explanation. A fiber-optic line the company leases failed en route to a New England satellite uplink because of a telecom company’s power loss, Mercer said.
A handful of vessels stayed in the Charleston port, with the seas and ports closed from Norfolk, Va., through New York.
“It will likely create some shifting in the vessel schedule,” said Allison Skipper of the State Ports Authority.
Lowcountry residents who had worried Monday about keeping in touch with family and friends in the Northeast were relieved Tuesday to find phone calls made with little trouble, and people OK, by and large.
Charleston native Sean Lynch spent Tuesday roaming the campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he’s a student. No, he said, the construction crane that he watched uneasily as it swayed Monday night didn’t fall. While classes had been cancelled, the campus remained open.
Mandi Bryson, College of Charleston student life associate director, kept track of people she knew in three states.
“My graduate assistant (in Manhattan) is safe, without power. She can only call out and cannot text so I am following her progress through her mom,” Bryson said.
“She and her friends found a diner running on generators to charge their computers and phones. Other than that, they made it through without any damage. The building two down from them had some windows blown out. Everyone is safe and now they are all just cleaning up, whether it’s flooding, leaves or trees.”
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