St. Mary resident John Bell takes his dog Austin Healey for a walk Thursday morning after Hurricane Dorian passed Georgia’s southernmost coastal city late Wednesday. The city was mostly quiet after suffering minor wind damage and flooding. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

St. Marys on Georgia coast emerges unscathed from Hurricane Dorian

Camden County and Glynn County near Florida border escape with minimal damage

Residents who stayed to ride out Hurricane Dorian could breathe easy again after the massive storm stayed mostly offshore as it passed this community of 18,000 people late Wednesday, continuing up the Atlantic coast toward the Carolinas.

The small downtown area was still windy, but there was no rain, and flooding from Wednesday morning’s high tide had receded. High tide overnight, the next major test, also proved uneventful.

A quick survey of downtown suggested the worst wind damage was part of a gutter hanging off a building.

There were no signs of large electricity outages. A Georgia Power crew quickly left after checking on conditions Wednesday.

St. Marys business owner Jimmy Mock returns with his U-Haul and takes the boards down at his general store Thursday morning to begin the process of reopening after Hurricane Dorian passed Georgia’s southernmost coastal city. Mock’s business appeared to have escaped with minor wind damage from the storm. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

The Mocks, meanwhile, focused on unloading a U-Haul in front of their store.

They started packing up on Labor Day and finished Tuesday, driving valuable equipment and other contents inland.

The ice cream and souvenir shop is at ground level and maybe 150 feet away from the St. Marys River, ground zero for flooding here.

The store got two feet of water during Hurricane Irma two years ago, and they lost all their electronic equipment.
Dorian didn’t bring a drop inside this time, while pulling off part of a gutter.
Jimmy Mock, 77, was waiting for help to unload the three ice cream machines because everyone who helped them pack up is back to work.

“I’ll be breathing easy in two days,” he said when asked if he felt lucky to have avoided the storm’s wrath.

Brunswick’s Glynn County, other parts of Camden County also largely spared

Other parts of Camden County, in which St. Marys is the largest city, also appeared to have escaped major damage.

Gas stations were open but calm. Crystal Smith was working at the Raceway gas station off Interstate 95 on Thursday. She said people have been calling to see if the store has gas, which it does because it never ran out.

Smith lives just across the state line of the St. Marys River in Yulee, Florida. She said the lights flickered once in her home. 

“I thought it was going to be worse than Matthew and Irma,” said a relieved Smith.

Glynn County, about 30 miles north, also suffered minimal damage from Dorian, said county spokesman Matthew Kent.

As of about 9 a.m., he said, only about 300 Georgia Power customers were without power in the county, which has a population of about 85,000. The county seat is Brunswick, the next coastal city north of Saint Marys and east of I-95.

Editor’s note: This article was updated with additional reporting from Camden County and Glynn County.

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