Wild winds strip sign off North Charleston Best Buy

North Charleston building inspector John Murdaugh (left) and sign inspector Dorothy Gibson check out the price tag-shaped sign that was dislodged during Tuesday’s high winds at the Best Buy store at 7612 Rivers Ave. No one was hurt.

A sign blew off a Best Buy store in North Charleston during a busy shopping period Tuesday as a storm system swept through the area.

The price-tag-shaped sign was dislodged during high winds around noon and fell onto concrete stanchions in front of the store at 7612 Rivers Ave. No one was injured.

No major structural damage was done, and shoppers continued to enter the store as firefighters cordoned off an area next to the doors. Managers were looking for a contractor to remove the sign.

Building inspectors said the sign recently had been removed, then reattached to the storefront. "A sign of that magnitude has got to be engineered properly," said Darbis Briggman, North Charleston's chief building official. "It will be up to (structural) engineers to determine what failed."

The weather was associated with a cold front that pushed eastward Tuesday morning, bringing flood and severe thunderstorm advisories.

Instruments at the Charleston International Airport measured only 0.29 inches of rainfall, according to the National Weather Service. But wind gusts at the airport hit 47 mph just before noon. Sustained winds peaked at 30 mph.

The Weather Service fielded isolated reports of downed trees and limbs. In Goose Creek, the wind blew down traffic lights and disabled others at five intersections on Goose Creek Boulevard and St. James Avenue, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

"There wasn't much rainfall associated with it," said Jonathan Lamb, a Weather Service forecaster in Charleston. "But we had some very strong winds."

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or on Twitter at @offlede.