Hurricane Dorian brings power outages, downed trees across North Charleston communities

A downed tree lays across a car in North Charleston's Pepperhill community. Hurricane Dorian didn't bring levels of water to the flood-prone community, but the storm caused power outages and its winds snapped trees. Rickey Dennis/Staff

Hurricane Dorian emptied heavy rainfall on North Charleston's flood-prone communities, but the neighborhoods didn't see high levels of water flowing through its streets. 

North Charleston officials said Thursday afternoon there wasn't any widespread flooding in the city, but the storm's gusty winds snapped trees, scattered debris and left many without power.

In Pepperhill, downed trees laid across houses and cars, and broken limbs were scattered across driveways.

Henry Smoke braved gusty winds and rain Thursday afternoon in the community as he stood in the street to survey his front yard. His home is slightly higher than his neighbors, who often experience flooding during major storms. The storm's strong winds were his main concern.

“I’m looking to see what major branch has a chance of breaking,” he said.

Kortney Oden agreed. Though her home doesn’t flood, she scooped debris from a drain Thursday morning to keep water flowing downhill into her neighbors' yards.

Though there weren't any notable floods, pools of water and tree debris also forced a handful of road closures. Blocked roads were displayed Thursday afternoon online on a road closure map created by the cities of North Charleston and Charleston.

Strong winds forced public works employees off the roads early Thursday afternoon, but employees returned to clear the roads once conditions became safe, North Charleston spokesman Ryan Johnson said.

Johnson said the city was also prepared to assist Dominion Energy in restoring power to residents.

Officials encouraged residents to be safe and smart.

“We’ve been blessed with not a lot of flooding. But still, stay inside until all of this passes,” said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey.

In Union Heights, residents passed the time patiently. The flood-prone neighborhood had pools of water that collected in low-lying areas, but residents' mainly dealt with the loss of electricity.

Longtime resident Barbara Burgess lost her power around 10 a.m. Thursday morning. She spent her hours listening to tunes from a portable radio. She expressed concern for the safety of utility workers.

“The wind is too high," she said. "I wouldn’t want (utility workers) to go out."

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