Sumter escapes major damage from Hurricane Michael

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 10/12/18

It seems, once again, that Sumter County was spared from potential heavy hurricane damage.

While Michael put itself in the history books as the third-most-powerful hurricane on record to hit the U.S. mainland as it flattened Mexico Beach, …

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Sumter escapes major damage from Hurricane Michael

Posted

It seems, once again, that Sumter County was spared from potential heavy hurricane damage.

While Michael put itself in the history books as the third-most-powerful hurricane on record to hit the U.S. mainland as it flattened Mexico Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, the effects of what was a tropical storm when it passed over Sumter on Thursday were certainly not the brunt or near what the Carolinas experienced during September's flood-heavy Florence.

Michael traveled roughly 200 miles of land before its top sustained winds dropped to tropical-storm strength, according to The Associated Press.

Wind was the bigger factor for Michael than rain. After bringing 155-mile-per-hour winds to Florida at landfall, the tropical storm in Sumter did bring down trees, power lines and plenty of debris, but local officials say the area was lucky.

"I think we dodged another bullet," said Ken Bell, public information officer for Sumter County Sheriff's Office. "We had no major issues."

Thursday morning was the peak of the storm, response-wise, for the sheriff's office. A few trees fell across U.S. 378 past Shaw Air Force Base in the western portion of the county, one massive one blocking the road until deputies, South Carolina Department of Transportation and Sumter public works employees cleared it. Limbs were everywhere, and stop lights were out across the city and county.

Minor flash flooding did occur, as predicted, though there were no reports of damage to property or injuries from water. Palmetto Park's ponds were higher and Swan Lake-Iris Gardens experienced high water, coming up to the bottom of bridges and swallowing sidewalks within the park.