Hurricane Matthew’s strong waves recently uncovered a pile of Civil War-era cannonballs on a South Carolina beach. Authorities in Charleston County decided to destroy the historic ordnance rather than attempt to preserve them for safety reasons, according to Folly Beach police.
On Sunday, Oct. 9, a day after the hurricane hammered the state’s coastline, a resident walking on the east end of Folly Island eyed a a pile of 16 heavily corroded cannon balls in the sand. The resident contacted the authorities, who came to assess the situation.
LiveScience.com reported that “Initially, the city wished to display them.” After ordnance experts inspected the balls, however, they determined a number of them still contained live charges. Based on this, authorities decided to destroy the cannonballs. According to tweets from the Charleston County Sherriff’s Office (CCSO), local officials worked with the U.S. Air Force Explosive Team who transported some for destruction as well as detonating several in place.