Termite Lawyer in Hardeeville, SC

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When you choose CDH for a termite damage attorney in Hardeeville, SC, you can rest easy knowing you're in confident, capable hands. Clients trust our law firm for termite damage cases because we have:

  • A Demonstrated Playbook of Strategies
  • A Proven Track Record of Successful Termite Cases
  • Substantial Termite Evidence Lockers with Experts and Depositions
  • Experience Handling Cases Across the Southeast United States
  • Manuals for Many Major Termite Control Companies

Unlike some termite damage law firms, our lawyers study the practices and policies of large termite control and home inspection companies. We use creative strategies to avoid unfair arbitration clauses and have devoted real resources to solving our client's claims.

Simply put, you can trust our termite damage attorneys with your case because we genuinely care about you as our client.

Whether you're a homeowner, commercial property owner, or a homeowner's association, know that you're not alone. If termites are causing damage to your property, don't let giant pest control chains or home inspection franchises take advantage of you. The cost of repairs should fall where it should - on the shoulders of the home inspection company, pest control company, or their insurers.

What Are the Signs of Termite Damage?

It's not always easy to spot the signs of termite damage, especially if you're an average person without much knowledge of the termite species. Plus, termites often wreak havoc in unseen areas like drywall, siding, and the framing of your house, so seeing damage isn't always easy. Despite those challenges, there are some common signs and areas for you to consider.

Some common signs of termite damage include:

  • Termite Swarms in Your Home
  • Discarded Termite Wings in Crawlspaces, Attics, or Other Areas
  • Small Holes or Pin Pricks in Walls
  • Mud Tunnels Running Along the Outer Walls of Your House
  • Dirt Falling Out of Cracks, Power Outlets, or Holes in Walls
  • Warped Doors and Windows

Some of the most common areas where termites do damage include:

  • In and Around Chimneys
  • Around the Bases of Outside Walls
  • In the Floors or Walls of Your Attic
  • In Your Crawlspace
  • Laundry, Bath, and Utility Rooms
  • The Floors and Sinks of Your Kitchen or Bathroom
  • Hollowed Out Wooden Areas Around Your Home

What Should I Do if I Find Termite Damage?

If you find termite damage in your home, it's best not to try and fix it yourself. Why? First, repairing damage from termites is a complicated, painstaking endeavor that requires a skilled, tedious approach. Spotting termite damage and knowing how to fix it requires a deep knowledge of how termites behave and live to get rid of them. Second, and perhaps most importantly, taking a DIY approach to termite damage may ruin your termite lawsuit.

That's true even if you have the skills and experience to do so. You might inadvertently destroy important evidence that is key to your case, which may ruin your chances of compensation for damages and poor work. Instead of trying to repair damage on your own, get a second opinion from a trusted inspector. Once your concerns are verified, it's time to call CDH Law Firm. Our experienced termite damage attorneys will dig into your case and discover if you're one of the thousands of people with grounds for filing a termite lawsuit.

Who Is at Fault for Termite Damage?

We get this question often at CDH Law Firm, though the answer is sometimes unclear. What we do know is that if you're looking for the max amount of compensation, we'll need to discover who was at fault. In some cases, it's easy to determine fault. For example, if you're a new homeowner, and a termite inspector or seller didn't inform you of an infestation, you may have grounds to sue.

However, things get more complex if you rent a home or bought a residence many years ago and have been using a pest control company for termite infestation. You could have grounds for a case against the pest control company, your landlord, or a different third party, depending on the circumstances of your case. That's why working with a termite attorney in Hardeeville, SC is so important - so they can investigate the details and damages associated with your infestation and determine who is accountable.

10 Common Excuses for Avoiding Termite Damage Liability

If you have trusted your home with a pest control company and encounter a termite issue, you might not get the help you expect, even if your claim is legitimate. With years of experience fighting big pest control companies and their insurers, we've heard just about every excuse in the book. If you're dealing with a termite problem, be wary if you hear any of the following excuses.

  • 01.The contract you signed releases our company of any liability.
  • 02.We can't help unless you sign a brand-new contract.
  • 03.There's moisture around the damaged areas of your home. We aren't responsible.
  • 04.We're under no obligation to discover hidden termite damage.
  • 05.We won't review your bond unless your property is re-treated.
  • 06.We don't have to pay because you have a re-treat-only contract.
  • 07.You need to pay for re-treatment because our chemicals or pesticides have worn off.
  • 08.You dug up our chemical barrier. Your infestation is not our fault.
  • 09.Our insurance company won't pay you. If you have a complaint, take it up with them.
  • 10.We'll cover the cost of fixing damage, but we won't open walls to see if more damage is present.

However, things get more complex if you rent a home or bought a residence many years ago and have been using a pest control company for termite infestation. You could have grounds for a case against the pest control company, your landlord, or a different third party, depending on the circumstances of your case. That's why working with a termite attorney in Hardeeville, SC is so important - so they can investigate the details and damages associated with your infestation and determine who is accountable.

Negligence

Can I Sue a Home Inspector for Negligence?

If your home inspector did not uphold their duties and obligations to you as the home buyer, you could most certainly sue a home inspector.

Unless your termite infestation was new when your home was inspected, it would be hard for a home inspector to miss it. If you just bought a house and you have discovered damage or signs of a termite infestation, contact CHSA Law today. Our team of termite damage attorneys may be able to prove that your inspector failed at spotting and reporting termite issues in your new home.

However, proving negligence is easier said than done without a lawyer by your side. Termite inspectors aren't always expected to find every bit of termite damage, and they're often not the final say in whether your home is damage-free. That's why, with CDH Law Firm as your advocate, we'll ask the hard-hitting questions needed to discover if your inspector missed termite damage for legitimate reasons or if they were careless and negligent. We'll help facilitate a second inspection if needed and will work tirelessly to earn you the compensation you deserve.

Breach

Can I Sue a Home Inspector for Breach of Contract?

You should know that even if your home inspector is legally negligent for missing termite damage or infestations, their liability will often be limited due to the language in their contract.

If your lawsuit doesn't have the proper foundation to prove negligence, your termite damage lawyer in Hardeeville, SC may be able to win compensation via breach of contract. In many circumstances, this is the best route to take if it's easier to prove that an inspector violated a contract. For example, suppose the home inspection contract you signed called for a whole-home inspection, and the inspector failed to survey your crawlspace or attic. In that case, you may have a viable claim in court.

At CDH Law Firm, we understand that every termite damage case situation is different. As such, we approach every case with a nuanced, multi-faceted strategy crafted with your best interests in mind.

Cobb, Dill, & Hammett Is Here When You Need Us Most

When a termite prevention company or home inspector is negligent and causes damage to your home, it's time to act fast. You need a trustworthy termite attorney in cityname, state by your side to take the proper steps toward getting compensation.

When you depend on CHSA Law, LLC, you'll receive personalized attention and proactive representation. That's because we make an intentional decision to limit our law firm's overall caseload. This allows us to better focus on our individual clients, many of whom remain with us for generations. We do not pass off cases to paralegals or junior associates but rather prioritize the attorney-client relationship.

We value compassion and integrity, and our practice reflects those values. If you're ready to take a stand, call our office today. Our termite damage lawyers will help create a better future for you, your family, or your business.

Don't hesitate to ask

Law is complicated matter. It can cause you a big problem if you ignore it. Let us help you!

 Law Firm Hardeeville, SC

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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