Divorce Attorney in Hardeeville SC

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If there were one universal truth it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes those changes are happy like when a new baby is born. Other times these changes involve uncertainty and loss like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce deal with a complicated custody issue or are handling a different family-related legal matter you might need help. At CHSA Law LLC we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children their marriage or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Hardeeville, SC can help whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At CHSA Law LLC we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients and with a dedicated focus stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Hardeeville. If you're looking for personal attention unbiased representation and a responsive family law attorney look no further than our law firm.

Divorce Attorney Hardeeville, SC

If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Hardeeville" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience are incredibly responsive and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

 Law Firm Hardeeville, SC

Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation it's time to call CHSA Law LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost - because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Hardeeville SC.

At CHSA Law LLC we know all-too-well that a one size fits all approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint - something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

 Attorney Hardeeville, SC
Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
- Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Hardeeville, SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Lawyer Hardeeville, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Hardeeville our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody alimony and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period CHSA Law LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Hardeeville

A divorce in Hardeeville means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties debts and assets determines child support and custody parameters and can establish alimony. At CHSA Law LLC many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources avoid trial and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes however two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations a trial is possible and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Hardeeville, SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

Divorce Attorney Hardeeville, SC
1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

 Law Firm Hardeeville, SC
2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make the cost of childcare and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Attorney Hardeeville, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed how much alimony should be paid and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony how long the marriage lasted and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing there are different alimony types including lump sum rehabilitative and reimbursement.

 Divorce Lawyer Hardeeville, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce the courts will order an equitable division of property meaning fair under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

Divorce Attorney Hardeeville, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Hardeeville, SC.

As mentioned above decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents both emotionally and legally. As experienced empathetic divorce lawyers we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the best interests of the child. What the judge determines to be the best interests changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of custody in South Carolina (or custody arrangements) each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at CHSA Law LLC we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

 Law Firm Hardeeville, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Hardeeville, SC.

When children are involved in divorce cases child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered like the income-earning potential of the child's parents any custody arrangements that are created and what needs the child may have.

At CHSA Law LLC we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Hardeeville for representation we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Hardeeville, SC.

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors like the income of both spouses how long they were married and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At CHSA Law LLC your family law attorney in Hardeeville, SC will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

 Attorney Hardeeville, SC
  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Hardeeville, SC.

When there are no children marital property or issues of alimony divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property real estate family businesses debts out-of-state property debts bank accounts and more.

In these nuanced situations the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like CHSA Law LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property certain types of properties that are controversial even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

 Divorce Lawyer Hardeeville, SC
Pensions

Pensions:

Generally pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it with future distribution available. Otherwise a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

Latest News in Hardeeville, SC

Tenet Healthcare selling two local hospitals to Novant Health in $2.4 billion transaction

Tenet Healthcare is selling three local hospitals, including Coastal Carolina in Hardeeville and Hilton Head Hospital to Novant HealthBluffton Today0:000:59ADCoastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville and Hilton Head Hospital will soon have new owners, once an acquisition is completed, according to a press release from their current owner, Tenet Healthcare.Tenet Healthcare Corp., based in Dallas, Texas, has entered into a definitive agreement with Novant Health for the sale of three Tenet hospitals and rel...

Tenet Healthcare is selling three local hospitals, including Coastal Carolina in Hardeeville and Hilton Head Hospital to Novant Health

Bluffton Today

Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville and Hilton Head Hospital will soon have new owners, once an acquisition is completed, according to a press release from their current owner, Tenet Healthcare.

Tenet Healthcare Corp., based in Dallas, Texas, has entered into a definitive agreement with Novant Health for the sale of three Tenet hospitals and related operations in South Carolina for approximately $2.4 billion in cash, according to a Nov. 17 Tenet press release. The release said after-tax proceeds would be approximately $1.750 billion.

The transaction, Tenet said, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, subject to customary regulatory approvals, clearances, and closing conditions.

"Our care delivery network includes United Surgical Partners International (USPI), the largest ambulatory platform in the country, which operates or has ownership interests in more than 480 ambulatory surgery centers and surgical hospitals," the Tenet release said. "We also operate 61 acute care and specialty hospitals, approximately 110 other outpatient facilities, a network of leading employed physicians, and a global business center in Manila, Philippines."

Novant Health is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., and is a part of a four-state integrated network of physician clinics, outpatients centers and hospitals, according to the company's website. The network has more than 1,600 physicians and 29,000 employees at more than 640 locations.

Along with Coastal Carolina Hospital and Hilton Head Hospital, the sale also includes East Cooper Medical Center in Charleston County, affiliated physician practices and other related hospital operations, the release said. Tenet’s ambulatory facilities operated by USPI in these markets will remain with Tenet, the Tenet release said.

“Our three hospitals on the coast in South Carolina are well-regarded by the communities they serve for the high-quality specialty services they deliver,” Saum Sutaria, M.D., chairman and CEO of Tenet Healthcare said. “Novant is an innovative healthcare organization with a deep commitment to patient-centric care. Integration of these three hospitals into their network will bring benefits for generations to come. Our new partnership in revenue cycle management and expanded collaboration in ambulatory surgical services will support consumer-centric healthcare.”

Revenue cycle management in healthcare involves a financial process that helps healthcare facilities such as Tenet and others manage tasks such as billing and scheduling.

Hardeeville Mayor Harry Williams, recently learning of the news, said, "Coastal Carolina Hospital and Tidewatch Emergency Center have been a valuable part of our city and county and wonderful community partners."

Williams added, "The hospital's service during the pandemic providing testing and vaccines is a testament to their everyday commitment and importance to our region."

Coastal Carolina Hospital is also located in Jasper County, and county leaders said they were looking forward to the future as Novant Healthcare becomes the new owner.

“Novant brings tremendous healthcare experience and resources enabling Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina to continue providing our community with best-in-class health care our community deserves,” Jasper County Council Chairman Marty Sauls said.

The purchase agreement also includes Tenet's Conifer Health Solutions subsidiary, entering into a new and expanded 15-year contract to provide revenue cycle management services for the South Carolina hospitals and related operations, according to the release. Tenet also said Novant Health and USPI will also be enhancing their ambulatory surgery partnership.

"For the last 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2023, the three hospitals and related operations included in the sale generated revenues of approximately $552 million, pre-tax income of approximately $126 million and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of approximately $150 million, excluding interest expense of approximately $1 million, litigation and investigation costs of approximately $3 million, and depreciation and amortization expense of approximately $20 million," Tenet said.

Tenet added, "The company estimates recording a pre-tax book gain of approximately $1.6 billion as a result of this anticipated transaction. Tenet anticipates utilizing the proceeds from the transaction primarily for debt retirement."

Hardeeville’s East Argent developers found guilty of tax fraud involving more than $1B

Jack Fisher, founder and former CEO of Preserve Communities, the real estate company responsible for Hardeeville’s East Argent development, was convicted Friday of fraudulently selling over $1.3 billion in tax deductions meant to help protect the environment, making millions from the scheme.A federal jury sitting in Atlanta convicted Fisher and James Sinnott, form...

Jack Fisher, founder and former CEO of Preserve Communities, the real estate company responsible for Hardeeville’s East Argent development, was convicted Friday of fraudulently selling over $1.3 billion in tax deductions meant to help protect the environment, making millions from the scheme.

A federal jury sitting in Atlanta convicted Fisher and James Sinnott, former Preserve Communities president and chief operating officer, of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns, and subscribing to false tax returns Friday. Fisher also was convicted of money laundering.

Fisher and Sinnott have since been removed from Preserve Communities’ leadership team page.

The City of Hardeeville approved Preserve Communities’ East Argent Planned Direct Development in 2005 for over 12,500 residential units across 7,350 acres, according to its website. It is the largest development in Hardeeville’s history and sits between U.S. 278 and S.C. 170. Since its inception, the project received mixed reviews from officials and residents who worry about potential environmental and traffic impacts.

Fisher used the money to purchase a Mercedes Benz, a private jet, and an RV and trailer. He also used the money to buy homes in the United States and Caribbean.

The scheme the jury convicted Fisher and Sinnott of dated back nearly two decades and involved “syndicated conservation easements.”

Under standard conservation easements, landowners get charitable deductions for giving up their land’s development rights, normally by donating them to a nonprofit land trust. Many local plantations in the ACE Basin Watershed have entered these conservation easements in the past. It’s a legal agreement that protects the land from being used for commercial or residential development. The Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Basin is one of the largest undeveloped estuaries located primarily in Colleton, Charleston and Beaufort counties.

According to Propublica, with syndicated versions, bad actors:

1) Buy vacant land, like abandoned golf courses, that aren’t worth much.

2) Hire an appraiser willing to wrongly declare the land is worth much more than it actually is. In Fisher and Sinnott’s case, they often appraised the land 10 times higher than what they originally paid to acquire the property.

3) Sell stakes in the donation. Fisher and Sinnott sold stakes in the donation to wealthy individuals, promising them deductions 4.5 times the amount they originally paid.

4) Donate the land to a nonprofit land trust and receive charitable deductions much more than they should actually be. Fisher, Sinnott and others received more than $41 million in payments that were backdated or late for false and inflated tax deductions.

Fisher and Sinnott face a maximum of between three and 20 years in prison for each count. The government is also seeking the forfeiture of money and properties purchased by Fisher and Sinnott in connection with their fraudulent scheme. A federal district court judge will determine their sentence.

Preserve Communities was unavailable for immediate comment about how this would impact Hardeeville’s East Argent development.

Jack Fisher’s voicemail was full, and Jennifer Fisher-Buntin, the vice president of marketing for Preserve Communities, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail.

This story was originally published September 25, 2023, 5:18 PM.

April 21 - Rollen's RAW opens new retail location in Hardeeville

April 21, 2023 - Rollen’s RAW Grains, the Lowcountry’s newest heritage foods destination, offers signature locally grown items like Carolina Gold Rice, Sea Island Red Peas and Sea Island Yellow Guinea Flint Grits, in addition to fresh local eggs, yogurt and produce at a new retail store located at 3333 S. Okatie Hwy. in Hardeeville, S.C. The bright, inviting country store features spacious ...

April 21, 2023 - Rollen’s RAW Grains, the Lowcountry’s newest heritage foods destination, offers signature locally grown items like Carolina Gold Rice, Sea Island Red Peas and Sea Island Yellow Guinea Flint Grits, in addition to fresh local eggs, yogurt and produce at a new retail store located at 3333 S. Okatie Hwy. in Hardeeville, S.C. The bright, inviting country store features spacious front and back porches. Future plans include adding a large fire pit for oyster roasts and locally sponsored events with farm-to-table heritage meals.

All Rollen’s RAW Grains products are non-GMO, gluten-free and preservative-free and are grown and harvested using traditional Lowcountry rice-growing techniques. Rollen’s RAW Grains will also host agritourism experiences for groups, ranging from outdoor farm-to-table heritage meals to tours of Lowcountry heritage rice fields. Rollen’s RAW Grains is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fourth-generation farmer Marion “Rollen” Chalmers, who owns Rollen’s RAW Grains with his wife Frances Chalmers, grows Carolina Gold heritage rice on more than 40 acres of land in the South Carolina Lowcountry. He provides high-quality rice to top restaurants across the South and has been featured in Garden & Gun and on The TODAY Show for planting, growing and harvesting Carolina Gold rice and bringing back this once-prized heritage crop. A direct descendent of Gullah residents in South Carolina who trace their roots back to slavery and West Africa, Chalmers is one of the most experienced and respected growers of heritage rice in the United States.

“We want to bring fresh, local, seasonal items to Rollen’s RAW Grains and provide sustainable foods to the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire,” Chalmers explains. “I love talking to people and sharing what I’ve learned from years of farming. I’ve searched all over, and I’ve never found anything like what we have here.”

Originally from Hardeeville, S.C., Chalmers has been farming since the age of 19, and his family has been growing rice in South Carolina since the 18th century. This experienced farmer uses the same rice-growing techniques that were originally brought over from West Africa by enslaved people in the South. Chalmers has been inspired by Dr. Richard Schulze, Sr., who is responsible for the rebirth of Carolina Gold Rice, and worked closely with Dr. Richard Schulze, Jr., who gave Chalmers the opportunity to cultivate Carolina Gold Rice and Charleston Gold Rice at Turnbridge in Hardeeville, S.C.

Widely known as “the coolest rice grower in America,” Chalmers grows Carolina Gold Rice on the original fields where this heritage crop was harvested in the 18th and 19th century. For almost 20 years, Chalmers has been growing Carolina Gold Rice for heritage grain purveyor Anson Mills. Anson Mills founder Glenn Roberts has called Chalmers a “quiet force” behind the food revival of the Sea Islands, crediting him with the renewed interest in heritage rice and with the comeback of Carolina Gold Rice. The new Rollen’s RAW Grains retail location in Hardeeville, S.C. serves as a natural extension of the company’s overall mission to share high-quality, sustainable food with a wider audience.

“We can’t grow all our own fruits and vegetables, but we are in a position where we can source it from local farmers and local farmers’ markets,” says Rollen’s RAW Grains co-owner Frances Chalmers. “Our new store is located in the middle of a food desert, and the closest grocery store is approximately 10 miles away. We’re incredibly honored to share fresh, nutritional food and inspiring heritage experiences with local residents as well as visitors from across the country and around the world.”

Hicks: South Carolina roads stalled with traffic, population explosion

It looks like Hardeeville won’t have to worry about South Carolina’s acute housing shortage for much longer.There’s one problem off the list.As The Post and Courier’s Tony Kukulich reported Tuesday, a developer has inked a deal to build 6,700 new homes on the largest swath of available high ground in Hardeeville. Those homes will go up next door to the 3,000 planned for Latitude Margaritaville.Gotta have somewhere to put those 90,000 people moving into the state every year.The problem is th...

It looks like Hardeeville won’t have to worry about South Carolina’s acute housing shortage for much longer.

There’s one problem off the list.

As The Post and Courier’s Tony Kukulich reported Tuesday, a developer has inked a deal to build 6,700 new homes on the largest swath of available high ground in Hardeeville. Those homes will go up next door to the 3,000 planned for Latitude Margaritaville.

Gotta have somewhere to put those 90,000 people moving into the state every year.

The problem is these nearly 10,000 new houses are going in right beside one of the worst traffic choke points in the state: Interstate 95 at, yep, Hardeeville.

This is a fairly common malady in South Carolina. People are flocking to the state, but the places getting flocked can’t handle the resulting traffic.

Now, the build-out on those developments could take a decade or two, which in one respect is good — seeing as how the state Department of Transportation needs at least another 6 years to finish its long-planned widening of I-95 in the lower part of the Lowcountry.

It’d be pretty to think this timing was coordinated.

Officials in Hardeeville have been planning for this development nearly two decades because, well, they aren’t making any more land on Hilton Head. Or in Bluffton. And it is an increasingly popular retirement destination.

Trouble is, the Legislature didn’t even start giving DOT officials the money to widen I-95 or handle myriad other problems until 6 years ago, when it raised the gas tax for the first time in decades.

Those years of neglect are precisely why most of our roads are in terrible shape ... and can’t handle the current volume of traffic.

This is the problem that leads to so many others here. See, in South Carolina, the people with the most control over local development have very little say over the infrastructure.

See: Johns Island.

About a quarter-century ago, the city of Charleston and the county set an urban growth boundary on the island to protect most of the rural landscape and limit development on the island to a couple of areas (near ingress and egress points). Then they turned developers loose.

At the time, local officials expected the traffic from those new neighborhoods would be mitigated by a finished 526. But a little protesting by some environmentalists, some Johns Islanders and some legislators (who wanted to steal the 526 money), and, well, the road got held up.

The houses didn’t.

That created the very situation most of those protesters were trying to avoid. Which is why the county’s in the shape it is now, going it mostly alone. But that’s another story.

Point is, cities and counties can plan for growth all they want, but they can’t guarantee they’ll be able to handle the ensuing traffic because the state owns most all the roads. And unless or until the locals find the money and are willing to take over those roads, the state does what it wants. Or doesn’t, as is often the case.

Hardeeville just happened to get lucky here.

A recent Post and Courier editorial noted that governments not working together can have a negative domino effect. Some places, suffering from debilitating traffic, decide to limit future growth (we’re looking at you, Mount Pleasant), and that growth is pushed out farther — to, say, the wilds of Dorchester County.

Which makes traffic worse for everyone. Again, look at the 526 fiasco. If you think its absence messes up Johns Island traffic, look at West Ashley.

Seriously, Mount Pleasant 526 critics: Look at West Ashley.

Now, the part of I-95 that runs through Hardeeville needed widening long before all this Hilton Head overflow development started. And, if that development continues, it’s hard to imagine the interstate won’t be overburdened soon after it’s widened.

Folks are clamoring for housing, and local governments know they need more stock to combat escalating prices. They like the bigger tax base, too.

But if they want to build those houses in the hinterlands (and what choice is there at this point?), then they need the infrastructure to service them. For instance, if North Charleston is going to allow development of Watson Hill, it needs an extension of the Glenn McConnell Parkway.

North Charleston, however, has absolutely no say in that nebulous road project.

Those state boys like to own and control everything in South Carolina. Well, they — not the locals, and not the Transportation Department — certainly own this problem. So it’s up to them to ramp up road improvements.

If people have to sit in traffic long enough, whether it’s in Hardeeville or West Ashley, they might eventually figure out who’s to blame here.

Summer storms preparedness: Safety tips to remember when severe weather warnings issued

Hardeeville and surrounding areas, including Bluffton, were hit with severe weather June 14. The storms left behind toppled trees, powerlines.Bluffton TodayStormy weather recently toppled trees and power lines in both Jasper and Beaufort counties, and local emergency officials want citizens to remain as safe as possible throughout early summer storms.Severe weather swept through parts of Jasper County and the Bluffton area on June 14, leaving behind debris across roadways and trees on homes, while also t...

Hardeeville and surrounding areas, including Bluffton, were hit with severe weather June 14. The storms left behind toppled trees, powerlines.

Bluffton Today

Stormy weather recently toppled trees and power lines in both Jasper and Beaufort counties, and local emergency officials want citizens to remain as safe as possible throughout early summer storms.

Severe weather swept through parts of Jasper County and the Bluffton area on June 14, leaving behind debris across roadways and trees on homes, while also temporarily shutting down a portion of Interstate 95 in Hardeeville, officials said. The severe weather also led to the closing of the Hardeeville Recreation Department on June 15 and 16 due to a partial power outage, according to a news release from the city. The center reopened on June 20 for normal operating hours.

Severe thunderstorms are officially defined as storms capable of producing 1-inch or larger hail or wind gusts over 58 mph., the weather service said. Hail this size can damage property such as plants, roofs, and vehicles. Wind this strong, the National Weather Service said, is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage.

Jasper County Fire Rescue said on June 15 in a Facebook post, "In the course of an hour starting just after 8 p.m. the night of the storm, crews responded to nine calls all of which were storm-related. The calls ranged from ''trees on roadways, trees on power lines, a possible structure fire, vehicle verse trees, and trees on structures. Luckily no injuries resulted from these incidents.''

The City of Hardeeville, during the storm, also advised citizens to remain safe, especially if there were downed power lines in their area. The message said utility companies warned citizens to stay away from downed power lines as there had been several downed lines reported during and after the storm.

Jasper County Emergency Services Director Russell Wells said it was important for drivers to plan for potentially increased travel times when there is a possibility of severe weather along their route.

"Check your route before departing. Look for posted road closures or conditions that may impact your travels," he said. “Turn around, don’t drown.”

"According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), 12 inches of swift-moving water across a roadway can carry away a vehicle. At night or during bad weather conditions, be extra cautious for pedestrians or bicyclists."

Wells also said it was important for drivers to ''focus on the road you are traveling and avoid distractions.''

There were nine trees downed in about 90 minutes around Bluffton during the June 14 storm, Bluffton Township Fire District Public Information Officer Stephen Combs said. He said the department went into storm operations, dispatching its own calls from 8:15 to 10 p.m. in its emergency operations center.

Combs said citizens should remain aware of weather conditions as storms continue to develop quickly throughout the summer.

"The key is making sure you have reliable sources of information," he said.

Some of those sources include the Nixle alert system that is used in both Jasper and Beaufort counties and the South Carolina Emergency Preparedness Division app. Combs said having an NOAA Weather radio would also provide the local weather information needed when storms are in the area.

To help drivers navigate as safely as possible through severe weather, the Bluffton Township Fire District also offered a few tips on its Facebook page. South Carolina law requires that headlights be turned on whenever windshield wipers are used. The first tip also asks drivers to ''slow down, especially in the rain as brakes do not work as well on wet roads.'' The second tip offered reminds drivers to use their turn signals, and the third asks them to leave space between their vehicles and those in front of them.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jonathan Lamb said on June 15 the weather service had compiled damage reports that were received from around the Jasper County area, confirming there were numerous reports of trees and power lines down in the Hardeeville area. The final report from the weather service showed severe thunderstorm damage in Jasper, though no tornado damage was reported.

The forecast for the week of June 18 in Jasper and Beaufort counties also included the chance of scattered thunderstorms, with a few thunderstorms capable of producing damaging wind gusts and large hail, according to the National Weather Service.

Lamb said recent storms in Jasper County seem to have been severe thunderstorms with straight-line winds, but the weather service had evaluated to determine if there might have been a tornado in Jasper County. He said trees are downed when winds reach speeds of 60 mph or higher, and a severe thunderstorm can have winds of at least 58 mph.

The weather service had its first damage report at 7:51 p.m. June 14, as power lines were reported down across Interstate 95 in Hardeeville, with the north and southbound lanes being closed at Exit 8. Hardeeville Fire Department Deputy Chief of Administration Joey Rowell said during the storm, a driver on the interstate drove over an energized power line, which caught the vehicle on fire. No injuries were reported, he said.

Damage reports from the National Weather Service from around Hardeeville ranged from downed trees, downed power lines, and a report of downed trees on an apartment complex. The storm also traveled into the Bluffton area, with reports of several downed trees along the Bluffton Parkway, according to NWS in Charleston storm reports. There were also reports of power outages across both Jasper and Beaufort counties.

The first weather alert for Jasper County, Lamb said, was a severe thunderstorm warning that was issued Wednesday night from 7:02-7:45 p.m. He said in the same time frame, a tornado warning, the first of two, was issued from 7:35-8 p.m. Another tornado warning ran from 7:52-8:15 p.m. for Jasper County.

"The storms were quick-moving storms, and this led to rapid-fire warnings," Lamb said. "It is important to remain alert when the watches and warnings are issued, and some storms have rapid-fire warnings."

Lamb said two NWS staff members from the Charleston office had traveled to Effingham County in Georgia, located next to Jasper County in South Carolina, to assess the damage done there by the same storm system. Later reports stated there had been a tornado in Effingham County, the national weather service said. Lamb said local emergency officials in Jasper County conducted initial damage assessments in their county and reported their findings to the weather service.

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