'Catastrophic' Surge Hits Pawleys Island as Hurricane Ian Nears Landfall in South Carolina

Residents documented deteriorating conditions on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, on Friday, September 30, as Hurricane Ian was nearing its second landfall in the United States, having caused devastation in Florida over the previous two days.

Suzanne Temple posted a series of video updates as she and her three children watched as a powerful storm surge breached a dune, pushed water toward beachfront homes on Springs Avenue, inundated streets, and caused damage to floating docks.

Minutes after posting her last video, Temple said that they lost power. “We are safe but I promise you I will never do this again,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I’m not worried and we are safe but there will be a big clean up on the island. It’s bad and the dune has been breached. Many floating docks are loose and it is rough. We are ok and in good spirits but the tears are flowing…not for us but for our precious island,” Temple wrote.

Soon after, Pawleys Island Police reported that the end of the Pawleys Island pier had collapsed and was “floating south,” and that the flooding along Springs Avenue was “catastrophic.” Credit: Suzanne Temple via Storyful

Video transcript

SUZANNE TEMPLE: OK. We got some water that's coming up over the edge. First dune that's out there. I going to get out in a little bit. It's really starting to pick up, the rain. I'll get out there in a few minutes and send some more videos.

We definitely have some water that's just peaking over and those waves are starting to really pick up.

Got the three youngins finally out of bed. We've got pictures of kayaks, but we went [INAUDIBLE].

Whoo, Lordy! I got my OTD. My pants-- Don't drop it.

My coat is [INAUDIBLE]. My sweatshirt is [INAUDIBLE]. My hat is [INAUDIBLE]. My leggings are [INAUDIBLE]. My boots are [INAUDIBLE], and my socks are [INAUDIBLE]. Thank you. I hope you have a great day.

All right. So we got some definite creek intrusion here on the road.

Looking down towards the boat landing.

Wind is whipping. Wow. You could launch your boat from up here.

- What's the name of that road?

- Old Tram.

- Will we make it over there?

- No, we can't make it to Old Tram.

- Stop sign.

- No, back it up.

- Look at that, y'all.

SUZANNE TEMPLE: Hey, y'all, I hate to tell you this, but we just breached the dune here. This is at 674 Spring.

There's the ocean. The waves are getting a lot bigger and definitely breached the dunes.

Look at that wave. Oh my gosh. Look at that.


This is the creek. That's Springs Avenue right there. There is no difference between the creek and Springs Avenue. And that is the ocean. And there is probably at least a foot of water underneath these houses, at least.

That floater right there is about to go. Wow. Wow.