The first outer band from Hurricane Irene to hit South Carolina dropped a small but potent thunderstorm on Folly Beach, knocking out power to the barrier island early today.
That made Charleston County school officials look smart for their late-night decision to cancel classes today. Berkeley and Georgetown county schools planned to send children home after a half day.
Charleston County government offices also were closed today in anticipation of bad weather.
National Weather Service forecasters for the Charleston area expected less than an inch of rain except in areas hit by isolated thunderstorms and 20 to 30 mph winds. Drawbridges on the Intracoastal Waterway were to be kept shut during the day, limiting travel for boats with high clearance.
In Horry County, beaches were closed to swimmers, though surfers were out in the high waves in many areas.