Estate Planning Attorney inIsle of Palms, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Isle of Palms, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Isle of Palms that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Isle of Palms. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Isle Of Palms, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law
Difference

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Isle Of Palms, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Isle of Palms, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Isle Of Palms, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Isle of Palms, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Isle of Palms, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Isle Of Palms, SC
2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Isle Of Palms, SC
3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Isle Of Palms, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Isle Of Palms, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Isle of Palms, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Isle of Palms, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Isle of Palms, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Isle Of Palms, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Isle Of Palms, SC
3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Isle Of Palms, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Isle of Palms, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.

CONTACT US

Latest News in Isle of Palms, SC

Isle of Palms approves new emergency beach access for first responders

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Isle of Palms County Park at the 14th Avenue beach access is expected to have a new emergency vehicle path by the summer of next year.Isle of Palms City Council approved the designs and is now sending the plans for Charleston County Council approval. The city is paying for the construction and the county park is providing the land.Fire Chief Craig Oliverius says there are a few already built in, but as more and more people are visiting the beaches each year, the safety needs to increase with the num...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Isle of Palms County Park at the 14th Avenue beach access is expected to have a new emergency vehicle path by the summer of next year.

Isle of Palms City Council approved the designs and is now sending the plans for Charleston County Council approval. The city is paying for the construction and the county park is providing the land.

Fire Chief Craig Oliverius says there are a few already built in, but as more and more people are visiting the beaches each year, the safety needs to increase with the numbers. He explains that the location at 14th Street is an essential location.

“We have a very active dune system at our access on 9th Avenue,” Oliverius says. “That’s also an ADA-approved access, so we have a dune structure there that’s constantly moving and that access is not always reliable for emergency vehicles. And so the next closest access would be 25th Avenue or 5th and so this access at 14th is very important because most of our visitors tend to congregate between 10th and 28th and so this is right in the middle and a lot of people utilize Charleston County Parks.”

Isle of Palms County Park Manager, Bailey Pfeiffer, says now with city approval they are hoping to make quick work of this project. Ideally for her staff, it will be complete in the spring of 2024 ahead of the busiest beach season summer months.

“We hope this project will go out for bid in November and once that gets selected we are hoping to start the project in January and wrap up in April,” Pfeiffer says.

She says this will benefit everyone on the beaches by providing another clear path to the area, so responders can travel the smooth roads longer and pinpoint the location on the beach better by entering a little closer to any calls.

“This will provide quicker response times for the island. It will allow fire and out Isle of Palms county park lifeguards to respond quicker to medical emergencies so it’ll be a great benefit to the residents here,” Pfieffer says.

Oliverius thanked the collaboration so far between the county and city to agree to the use of the land at the 14th Avenue county park beach access. He says the design is simple, yet effective.

“We intend to have a sliding gate that our emergency responders can access from the intersection of 14th and Ocean,” Oliverius says. “We’ll be able to operate that via our radio through Charleston County dispatch with one click we’ll be able to enter the gate. It’ll open automatically and then we will travel down the distance from here to the beach access onto the beach through pavers, and have a nice clean easy pathway unobstructed to the beach where we can access the beach or anyone who needs assistance.”

The project will go to bid in the next few months and that will determine the construction costs. Isle of Palm leaders agree this is a needed addition to their beach safety standards.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Editorial: Isle of Palms voters should cap short-term rentals

Like residents on Folly Beach just a few islands down the coast, Isle of Palms residents seem to want assurances that their coastal city will strike a balance between full-time residents and homes used as short-term rentals.Earlier this year, many Folly residents believed their City Council wasn’t tak...

Like residents on Folly Beach just a few islands down the coast, Isle of Palms residents seem to want assurances that their coastal city will strike a balance between full-time residents and homes used as short-term rentals.

Earlier this year, many Folly residents believed their City Council wasn’t taking their concerns seriously and petitioned for a referendum to limit the number of short-term rentals. That effort was successful, and now Isle of Palms residents have succeeded in their own petition drive.

As a result, island voters will go to the polls Nov. 7 to decide not only four City Council races and a utility commission seat but also this question: “Shall the City of Isle of Palms limit the investment short term rental business licenses to a maximum of 1,600?” They should vote yes.

It’s important to understand what the ordinance will and won’t do. Those residents who currently live in their home (and qualify for the 4% property tax assessment rate on owner-occupied homes) still may rent out their home for up to 72 days a year, and they would not be subject to the new cap.

The cap would apply only to so-called investor-owned properties and second homes (which have 6% assessment rates). Currently, the island has about 1,600 of these types of properties with short-term rental licenses, so the cap was designed to maintain the status quo — and to ensure the number of short-term rentals doesn’t rise much more.

But no current property owner should face an immediate hardship if the referendum question is approved, and that’s important to note. All owners of rental properties who have a current license by Nov. 7 will be grandfathered in, and those who had one as of April 30, 2023 will have 60 days — through January 2024 — to apply for and receive a short-term rental license, even if the number of applications surpasses 1,600. Also, these licenses will be transferrable to family members. These responsible, equitable provisions should minimize hardships if the question were to pass.

“We have a growing number of short-term rental licenses in residential communities,” former City Councilman Randy Bell told reporter David Slade. Mr. Bell has worked with the pro-referendum group Preserve Isle of Palms Now. “We are trying to maintain the one-third, one-third, one-third split between full-time residents, second homes and rental properties.”

It might strike some as odd that the cap issue is emerging even as the island has seen a recent slowdown in short-term rentals. Visitors and residents always have made up a large part of the Isle of Palms’ identity, but the Nov. 7 referendum is yet another example of South Carolina communities, particularly those popular with tourists, seeking a better balance between the economic vitality of short-term rentals and the relative stability and quietude of neighborhoods with mostly full-time, year-round residents. State legislators should not pass any laws that would hinder the work of cities and counties on this issue.

As with Folly, even if voters approve the cap, we don’t expect the referendum to be the last word on the subject. City Council would have to implement it but could make modifications as it sees fit. As City Attorney Mac McQuillin explained, “If the ordinance is approved by voters ... council can amend or repeal following the election just like any other ordinance.” If the referendum is approved, City Council should amend it if there’s a consensus that it is not working as planned or officials find a better way to ensure the resident-visitor balance.

If voters say yes — as they should — it’s certainly fair for Isle of Palms council members to consider whether 1,600 really is the best number in the long run or whether that number should be changed to reflect the distinctly different areas of the island, such as the front beach and Wild Dunes. That’s a fair debate, but one that would take place with council members knowing full well that island residents — also known as city voters — remain concerned about the scale tipping too far away from them.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This editorial has been updated to clarify that only investor-owned properties that have a short-term rental license by Nov. 7 or ones that had such a license as of April 30, 2023 and reapply within a 60-day period after Nov. 7 would not be subject to the 1,600 cap.

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Beach advocacy group calls for expanded parking on Isle of Palms, cites short-term rentals

ISLE OF PALMS — Along most streets of this barrier island, daytime parking is limited to residents and short-term rental guests. But a beachgoers advocacy group has asked the state to make that parking available to all.The Charleston Beach Foundation argues that with so many short-term rentals on Isle of Palms, vacationers renting on the island are parking on state-owned land that day-trip visitors are unfairly forbidden to use.“The voters have spoken on the Isle of Palms, and there is no cap on short-term rentals,&...

ISLE OF PALMS — Along most streets of this barrier island, daytime parking is limited to residents and short-term rental guests. But a beachgoers advocacy group has asked the state to make that parking available to all.

The Charleston Beach Foundation argues that with so many short-term rentals on Isle of Palms, vacationers renting on the island are parking on state-owned land that day-trip visitors are unfairly forbidden to use.

“The voters have spoken on the Isle of Palms, and there is no cap on short-term rentals,” said Beach Foundation co-director Myra Jones, citing a November ballot question that was voted down.

“Our theory, basically, is that a short-term rental is a business, there are businesses island-wide, and the businesses are benefiting from the residential-only parking,” she said.

In a Nov. 27 letter sent to S.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Christy Hall, Isle of Palms Mayor Phillip Pounds and others, the Beach Foundation claims “IOP no longer has legitimate ‘residential’ areas and the general public is being denied their constitutional guaranty of equality and privilege to access state roadways and rights-of-way.”

That argument echoes some comments made by Hall in a 2021 letter to the small coastal city during a wide-ranging debate about public parking on the island.

“I am of the opinion that the 2015 (Isle of Palms parking) plan has improperly designated a significant number of state-owned highway rights of way as ‘resident only parking’ potentially denying non-residents their constitutional guaranty of equality and privilege,” Hall wrote.

She added, “Accordingly, at a minimum, the state-owned roads intersecting SC 703 (Palm Boulevard) should be re-evaluated for the restoration of public parking along the first block.”

No changes were subsequently made on the roads connecting to Palm Boulevard. Instead, the state quashed an Isle of Palms’ plan to eliminate most free public parking on the island and installed angled parking along Palm Boulevard and added parking at Breach Inlet.

Both changes increased the amount of free parking for beach visitors, while resident-only parking areas remained as they were.

“I think where we left it, after we made those changes to Palm (Boulevard) and Breach Inlet, was that we would see how things would operate,” Hall said Nov. 28.

She said DOT would review the Charleston Beach Foundation’s request.

Pounds said the island is comfortable with the current parking regulations and said it’s absurd for the Beach Foundation to suggest Isle of Palms has no residential neighborhoods.

“I would love for that crowd to come out here and talk to the 4,000 residents who live on the island and tell them the entire island is commercial,” he said. “It’s not like our residential areas went away as a result of the referendum.”

In the Nov. 7 referendum, Isle of Palms voters were asked if they would support a 1,600-license cap for short-term rentals of commercially taxed homes. The measure failed with more than 54 percent voters in opposition.

Pounds said that while the referendum vote quashed one specific plan, discussions about limits on short-term rentals are ongoing.

As of the end of October, according to a city analysis, Isle of Palms had 4,610 residential properties, and 1,850 of them — 40 percent — had a short-term rental license.

Each of those short-term rental properties can have four permits allowing guests to park in resident-only areas.

“The Residential Parking Only Zones are being misused and abused by the STR businesses as their customers are allowed to park on the state-owned rights of way while excluding the general public,” the Charleston Beach Foundation said in its letter.

Under the city’s rules, the state’s right of way along most streets — strips of land adjacent to the roads — is available for parking to residents, their guests with permits and short-term rental guests with permits.

A short-term rental property owner can buy four permits yearly for $15, for tenants to use in residential-only areas where parking would otherwise be prohibited from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during beach season.

High liquor liability policy hurting some Isle of Palms bars

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD)- The post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post on Isle of Palms is calling for the governor to rethink requirements for a liquor liability policy.On Saturday, the post had to a temporarily close its doors, the owner saying he wasn’t sure when they would be able to reopen.The VFW Post 3137 has been around for over 50 years, serving as a place for vets to come hang out.“We call it comradery,” Post commander Bo Stallings said.It’s one of the top veterans&rs...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD)- The post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post on Isle of Palms is calling for the governor to rethink requirements for a liquor liability policy.

On Saturday, the post had to a temporarily close its doors, the owner saying he wasn’t sure when they would be able to reopen.

The VFW Post 3137 has been around for over 50 years, serving as a place for vets to come hang out.

“We call it comradery,” Post commander Bo Stallings said.

It’s one of the top veterans’ posts in the country, with a wall of awards to prove it.

Stallings said, “The All-American award here that you see, the All-American post is very hard to get.”

For the first time since it opened, the post had to temporarily shut down for three days.

“We had to close the doors Saturday at midnight,” Stallings said.

The uncertainty of if and when it would reopen raised concern among the more than 1,200 members.

“My phone and email have been blowing up,” Stallings said.

Stallings says the closure was because they couldn’t afford their liquor liability insurance.

“As of this morning, I was told 66 VFWs across the state have had to close because of this insurance policy,” Stallings said.

In South Carolina., bars must maintain at least $1 million of liquor liability insurance.

It’s a bill that passed in 2017.

Stallings says this law is killing bars, and his neighbor at the Windjammer agrees.

“There’s plenty of local establishments and bars that are feeling the blunt of this and don’t have the money to pay this insurance,” Owner of Windjammer, Bobby Ross said.

Stallings says its time to rewrite the law, to make it less stressful for bar owners to have insurance, and he’s calling on the governor to make the change.

“It’s just out of hand with this insurance. I don’t know what the remedy would be other than the governor taking his pen and saying hey let’s make it go away,” Stallings said.

Stallings says they were able to secure a new policy they can afford, so they’ve opened their doors back up for service.

Safety officials address beachside preparations ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Public safety officials are addressing safety preparations for beachside communities ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia, which is set to hit the Lowcountry late Wednesday.Representatives with the Isle of Palms and Folly Beach say high winds, heavy rainfall and high tides could mean bigger concerns for safety along local beaches.“Being out here on the edge, we are very susceptible to flooding issues and storm surge,” Folly Beach Director of Public Safety Andrew Gilreath said. “We have t...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Public safety officials are addressing safety preparations for beachside communities ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia, which is set to hit the Lowcountry late Wednesday.

Representatives with the Isle of Palms and Folly Beach say high winds, heavy rainfall and high tides could mean bigger concerns for safety along local beaches.

“Being out here on the edge, we are very susceptible to flooding issues and storm surge,” Folly Beach Director of Public Safety Andrew Gilreath said. “We have to be extra cautious to make sure we communicate with our citizens and visitors.”

Live 5 News meteorologists are tracking the storm and say we can expect 4-8 inches of rain, along with eight-foot tides.

They say the abnormally high tide is due to a combination of the effects from Idalia and the potential for a King Tide.

King Tides happen during a full moon and can heavily influence the strength of tides, rip currents and waves.

“We’re approaching a full moon as we get to the end of August here,” National Weather Service Charleston Representative Steven Taylor said. “Influences on the tides are at its greatest. Unfortunately, even without wind, without heavy rain, our tides would have already been causing problems.”

Beach officials warn residents and visitors to avoid entering any flood waters during the storm.

“90% of the island is on septic so the water is not something you want to play in or be in just by the nature. That’s something we try to keep people up to speed on,” Gilreath said.

They also strongly urge people to avoid the ocean during this time due to strong rip currents and high tide.

“With rip currents projected and the marine environment looking extreme. Please stay out of the ocean,” Gilreath said. “In certain situations, I will not put my employees at risk just to save someone out there to have fun.”

Gilreath says Folly Beach is already in the early stages of prep, which includes sandbagging operations, securing beach access areas, and monitoring bridge spaces for high winds.

The Isle of Palms released the following statement earlier today:

City of Isle of Palms officials are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Idalia and its impact on the island. According to the National Weather Service, heavy rainfall and tropical storm-force winds are expected to reach the South Carolina coast on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. Other risks along the coast include rip currents, high surf and the potential for beach erosion. The city is resuming normal operations until further notice.

City leadership encourages its residents and visitors to prepare for the storm now. Residents should remove or secure any items around the home that could cause damage due to the potential for strong wind gusts. It is recommended that citizens assemble an emergency supply kit that includes at least a three-day supply of water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, prescription medications, batteries and other essentials. More information on emergency kits and overall storm preparation is available on the city’s website: iop.net.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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