Tropical Storm Gaston
Contact: Bill Martin, (843) 883-3123 x 41
Tropical Storm Gaston grew quickly overnight August 28-29 to become a significant storm event for the Charleston area. Gaston made landfall on Sunday morning. All sites remained closed for the day and staff remained home. Fort Sumter and Liberty Square reopened on Monday, August 30 with little or no damage. Standing water remained and had to be pumped before visitors were allowed to enter Fort Moultrie. Although the storm did not reach hurricane strength, Charles Pinckney NHS has 12 downed and 30 significantly damaged trees. The total vegetation damage is almost equal to Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Record rainfall fell on an already saturated ground. For the area of Mt. Pleasant, estimates range from 8-12 inches. Fortunately, selective pruning last fall helped save the historic oak trees near the house that would likely have tumbled with the extra weight of rotting limbs. The primary visitor use area was not severely damaged so the site reopened August 31. Estimated recovery cost is $15,000.