After crushing the Anna Marvel, the huge wave continued into the Lowcountry of South Carolina until it finally dissipated almost 20 miles inland from the coastline. In the wake of the mammoth wave, the destruction was complete and total. The apex of the tidal wave was centered along Hilton Head Island and into the Port Royal Sound, with the flooding and destruction extending inland over Parris Island and Beaufort, South Carolina. In some places, the flood waters extended almost to Interstate 95, along the Coosawatchie River. How Savannah and the coast of Georgia were spared was a mystery to those who witnessed the event and survived to talk about it later. What was clear was that the death toll was only mitigated by the fact that the area had not been heavily resettled after the Gomer invasion. The other good news was that the Marine Bases at Parris Island and the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station were not being occupied. Thanks to the war, those units, missions, and personnel were now all relocated to other parts of the world.
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Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.