T&D reporter Gene Zaleksi reports on local conditions as the first bands of Tropical Storm Ian moves through the region.

Hurricane Ian brought rain, periodic gusty winds and sporadic power outages to The T&D Region early Friday.

Emergency services officials say there were no reports of structural damage in the area through early Friday. A downed tree was reported in Eutawville.

“It has been exceedingly quiet. That is the way I like it,” Calhoun County Director of Emergency Management David Chojnacki said shortly after 1 p.m. Friday.

The strongest wind gust reported at the Orangeburg Municipal Airport through early afternoon was 41 mph. Tropical storm force winds are 39 mph.

Sustained winds were in the 20 mph range pretty much throughout early afternoon.

The Orangeburg Municipal Airport reported about 1.5 inches of rain through 1 p.m. About 2.1 inches of rain fell at a National Weather Service reporting station.

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Various weather spotters have rain gauges throughout the county.

About .68 inches of rain fell at a reporting station about 4 miles northeast of Cope and about .54 inches of rain fell near Santee and Elloree through the morning.

About half an inch of rain fell at a weather reporting station about 3 miles east of St. Matthews through 8 a.m. Friday.

A station near Holly Hill recorded about .75 inches of rain.

Nearly an inch of rain fell near Ehrhardt.

The region is under a flood watch through 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

All local rivers are forecast to remain below flood stage.

The entire T&D Region was under a tropical storm warning Friday as Hurricane Ian approached the coast packing sustained winds of 85 mph with gusts about 105 mph.

Power outages were sporadic during the day.

There were 57 Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities customers without power early Friday morning, primarily in the Ellis Avenue and Colleton Street area, according to the utility’s outage map.

Early Friday afternoon, there were about 87 customers without power in areas of Cordova, off of Columbia Road and near the Wilkinson Heights neighborhood.

The utility has a total of 24,513 customers.

In Orangeburg County, there were 433 electric cooperative customers without power.

This included 381 Edisto Electric Cooperative customers, 37 Tri-County Electric Cooperative customers and 15 Aiken Electric customers.

There were 61 Tri-County Electric customers without power in Calhoun County and 68 customers with Edisto Electric in Bamberg County without power.

Dominion Energy was reporting about nine outages affecting 522 customers in Orangeburg County through late Friday morning. There were no reported Dominion outages in Calhoun and Bamberg counties through early afternoon.

About two dozen cots were set up at the Orangeburg city gym on Broughton Street, which is serving as an American Red Cross shelter, through Saturday morning. More cots are available.

As of late Friday morning, no one was housed at the shelter.

City officials say the shelter was opened to house residents who live in flood-prone areas of the city as well as individuals staying at the Samaritan House homeless shelter.

The shelter suffers from a leaky roof and is in the process of trying to get a new roof placed on it.

People moving around outside after the storm are encouraged to exercise caution.

Some tips that could come in handy:

• Do not drive through flooded areas. Do not ever try to drive around or move barricades that are blocking a street.

• Stay away from floodwaters. Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around floodwaters and your home.

• Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwaters.

• If power lines are down, don’t step in puddles or standing water.

• Individuals should stay away from downed power lines.

Looking ahead, the week looks like it will be dry and sunny with comfortable temperatures for Orangeburg County Fair. Highs will be in the 70s all week with lows in the 50s.

“We are planning on business as usual to start Monday,” Orangeburg County Fair Association President and Manager Matt Stokes said. “Early reports are next week is slated to be beautiful weather! Hope everyone comes out to enjoy FAIR weather!!!”

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