CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Cleanup efforts are underway in the city of Charleston after Hurricane Ian swept through.
“Given the big rain we had and the high tide, there was flooding in the city we closed a number of streets,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.
What are normally busy roadways were empty as they flooded with water. Ian-produced wind gusts knocked out power for thousands, brought down trees, and left debris throughout the streets.
“Now we have to help drain the water out. I think that will happen over the next 24 hours,” said the mayor.
Conditions intensified to the point where Charleston Police sheltered in place, only responding to critical calls. They have since returned to normal conditions.
“There was a point where there were over 60 mile an hour gusts and a sustained wind of over 40 miles an hour. At that point we asked our officers to stay at the station and only respond to emergencies,” explained Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds.
Charleston was a ghost town during the storm but picked back up again afterward.
“I survived Hurricane Hugo and went through kind of the most extreme situation but today I was monitoring the weather first thing in the morning, and I felt pretty comfortable that it wasn’t anything catastrophic,” said Nick Christ, a Charleston native.
James Island resident Ryan Castellano was not phased by the storm.
“Me and this guy were sound asleep the entire day and were not woken by the storm whatsoever,” he told News 2, referring to his dog.
Filsan Olhaye was visiting Charleston from North Carolina when the storm hit.
“We’re staying at an Airbnb very nearby. This was a trip already planned so we kind of got stuck. There was no flooding that we saw just a lot of wind,” Olhaye said.
City leaders said only a few rescues had to be made. They’re thankful that people, for the most part, stayed home.
“People listened, they heeded the warning and it’s helped us quite a bit,” said Chief Reynolds.
For the latest road closures, click here.