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Before and after Irma: Photos and words showing how Mount Pleasant weathered the storm

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MOUNT PLEASANT — Most roads that were too flooded to drive on Monday were back to normal in this coastal town Tuesday, but the storm surge from Irma left some properties with flood damage and fallen tree limbs.

On William Street in the Old Village, Sharon Donald showed the waterline on her street-side mailbox post, where flood waters were about 3 feet deep. Inside her home, in a ground-floor family room that used to be a garage, there was floodwater in her clothes dryer.

"I just finished putting $21,000 into the house because of (Hurricane) Matthew," said Donald, who moved to the home in 1974.

Her neighbor, Antonio Giordano, said he had 20 inches of water in his garage.

"We have a foot of water (on the street) at high tide, with no rain," he said. But on Monday, as Hurricane Irma pushed a storm surge ashore at high tide, "the water in the marsh was higher than the bank," Giordano said.

The town is in the early stages of planning $9 million in Old Village drainage system improvements, for an area that would include William Street where Donald and Giordano live.

At Shem Creek, one of Mount Pleasant's most iconic spots, the storm surge Monday submerged parking lots, turned the Shem Creek Park marsh into open water, and raised the creek within several feet of the top of Shem Creek bridge.

On Tuesday, the water was mostly gone, but some creek-side businesses were dealing with flood damage.

Town police, fire, and public service employees worked 12-hour shifts Monday, responding to reports of flooding and downed trees that poured into Mount Pleasant's Emergency Operations Center in Town Hall.

After the floodwaters receded, some damage remained, such as a large pothole that closed part of Rifle Range Road near Venning Road Tuesday.

Some low-lying roads with poor drainage, or creeks nearby, remained closed or partially flooding early Tuesday. Long Point Road, a major through-road, was briefly closed in both directions leading from the Longpoint subdivision in the morning, but later opened to traffic.

"It's pretty amazing that we did as well as we did," Mayor Linda Page said Tuesday. "We were prepared, we were ready, and our first responders did a great job."

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Reach David Slade at 843-937-5552. Follow him on Twitter @DSladeNews.

David Slade is a senior Post and Courier reporter. His work has been honored nationally by Society of Professional Journalists, American Society of Newspaper Editors, Scripps foundation and others. Reach him at 843-937-5552 or dslade@postandcourier.com

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