Dorian – what went right

Dorian – what went right
September 10 15:17 2019 Print This Article

We can debate whether or not we agree with certain government decisions leading up to Hurricane Dorian’s Thursday approach past Charleston, but let’s agree that a lot of things went right before and after the storm. Here are some of the positive developments that caught my attention:

Smooth I-26 lane reversal. SCDOT has gotten quite adept at orchestrating lane reversals. The eastbound lanes were reversed right on schedule from Charleston to Columbia.

Great communications. City of Charleston sent out frequent e-mails updating us on status changes and schedules. Residents were invited to listen-in to City Council conference calls. West Ashley United and neighborhood Facebook pages shared lots of information, including which neighborhoods had lost or re-gained power. WTMA, 94.3 FM and their TV partners provided continuous storm coverage and encouraged listeners to call in and share their storm stories.

No looting reported. Charleston Police Department patrolled before and after the storm. After the storm, so many people were out clearing debris that there weren’t targets of opportunity for would-be looters.

Dominion Energy. Our new electric utility ran ads letting people know what its hotline number was and asked people to call when they lost power. I called the hotline at 4 am Thursday and a nice employee answered the phone and took my information. Dominion Energy had a coordinated post-Dorian restoration effort. In our neighborhood, three crews from Alabama showed up around 6 am Saturday and worked straight through to 8:30 pm, when the lights came back on. One of our neighbors brought sausage biscuits to those heroes.

Businesses opened right after the storm. It was comforting that many businesses were open early Friday morning. We went to Sojourn Coffee at 6 am and then bought ice at Ashley Landing Publix so that we could salvage our refrigerator food during the power outage. West Ashley Hardware had the yard tools people needed to clean up the debris.

Rapid debris removal. City of Charleston had crews out all day Friday, picked up debris, and deposited it at a temporary staging area at the former Northbridge Piggly Wiggly property. Crews have continued to patrol neighborhoods and remove debris on-demand. I have never seen such a rapid response!

We survived another storm, neighbors helped each other, and the heroes amongst us rose to the occasion. The people of Charleston demonstrated once again that they are a resilient bunch!