Flooding and Flash Floods in the Beaufort Area
Flash flooding in the Beaufort and Hilton Head Island area are rare, but may occur in low areas. More likely is slow rising flooding conditions which can be equally as dangerous. Due to the fact that all areas of Beaufort county are near sea level, the threat exists near any standing water.
Also the water table around the area is very near the ground surface, usually just a few feet. Large storms, particularly from the east, can cause severe local flooding. There are safety issues which need to be observed by all and should be taught to your children, no matter what their age.
What to Do if Caught in a Flood
Floods are most dangerous to children as any body of water will attract a child. Teach your child how to swim and to stay away from standing water unless supervised. Several inches of water can drown a young child. If caught in moving flood water, swim WITH the current at an angle towards land. DO NOT swim against the current as you will loose. Teach your children this and give plenty of examples. Ask them to tell you how to do it so you know they know what to do. Most drowning's in moving water occur because the victim swam against the current or could not swim. The ground next to water during and after flooding or heavy rains can become very unstable. Never trust bank areas for stable support. If you see someone stranded or struggling in flood waters, call for help. If you get in trouble trying to save the victim, who will save you both?
Other Flood Water Dangers
Flood water carries disease. Septic waste often backs up in flood water as well as yard fertilizers and other dangerous chemicals. Flood water also provides a "nursery" for biting insects and can carry many parasites such as ringworm. Snakes, spiders, raccoons, opossums, deer and other animals will retreat to the same high ground that people occupy. We have a variety of poisonous snakes. They will stand their ground during a flood and often become very aggressive and unpredictable. Never drive through standing water unless you know it is safe. Standing water often contains salt water, which can cause severe corrosion to your vehicle.