By early Tuesday, Tropical Storm Irma was scheduled to make its way into Alabama and weaken further. By the afternoon, its storm status likely could be revoked. Merely a tropical depression, its track puts the next stop as western Tennessee.
South Carolina will be in the clear, facing a pretty nice day with periods of sun, increasing in the afternoon, a high temperature of 84, a low chance of rain and some breeze from the south-southwest, according to AccuWeather.
High tides are at 12:50 p.m. and 7:07 p.m., but they are not expected to generate anything more than regular nuisance flooding.
Tuesday morning, the city of Charleston had deployed about four pumps to the most flooded areas downtown, including Colonial Lake.
But reminders of the storm will abound: Signs of Monday's dramatic water inundation, scattered tree limbs and other debris, breezy — even gusty — conditions.
It will take more than a day to recover from the most powerful hurricane recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, an enormous storm that rolled up the Florida peninsula's Gulf side and scraped communities throughout South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
Tree-trimming trucks, on standby Monday, will spring to action. Lewis Tree Service had parked 26 trucks at the Holiday Inn Express in Mount Pleasant over the weekend. Other tree trimmers will hit the roads to clear fallen trees and debris as needed.
The city of Charleston, anticipating a major post-storm cleanup, assembled a recovery team days ago, at the start of their emergency planning process, according to city spokesman Jack O’Toole. In addition to emergency responders, more than 200 city employees — mostly public service and parks department workers — will head out to address problems caused by the bad weather.
The city has rented 12 mobile pumps that can be transported on trailers and taken directly to flooded areas to speed up the drainage process, O’Toole said.
Mayor John Tecklenburg said the goal for Tuesday is to get the roadways open.
"That means clearing trees where they're down, assisting the power company to get power back on and making sure everyone is safe," he said.
In Charleston County, about one-fourth of SCE&G’s 190,000 customers lost power on Monday. About 5,000 Berkeley County customers, or 21 percent, lost power. And 14,500 Dorchester County customers, or 25 percent, lost power.
A total of 273,000 SCE&G customers in 24 counties served by the utility lost power because of the storm.
Utility trucks will make the rounds to repair damaged power lines throughout the day Tuesday and well into the week.
Customers of electric cooperatives who lost power also will see action on Tuesday.
More than 300 line workers from Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia and possibly North Carolina will bring equipment and muscle to assist local workers in the effort to restore power. Construction crews will replace poles and lines. Other crews will attend to fallen lines, debris from trees and individual homes whose electric lines need repair.
“We’ll do an assessment on damage in South Carolina on Tuesday morning,” said Todd Carter, whose department coordinates assistance for the state’s electric cooperatives.
The "First Push Agreement" approved on Sept. 8 by Dorchester County Council and the S.C. Department of Transportation obligates DOT, with help from the county, to begin removing debris from major roadways within five hours of the end of storm conditions, according to county spokeswoman Tiffany Norton.
Utility crews will address problems caused by trees in power lines.
Though public schools and some businesses will remain closed on Tuesday, many retailers, restaurants and offices will be assessing the storm’s impacts, repairing damage and reopening. Expect more traffic than usual as evacuees stream back into the Lowcountry and beyond.