Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Fierce winds and torrential rainfall are expected due to Hurricane Florence. It may be a storm of historic proportion that could result in widespread and extended power outages. In light of this, I wanted to share with you the following information which I have received from the Governor's Office and different state agencies. Please take all precautions and be safe.
The Red Cross
Here are a few tips to help you during this weather event.
Gather important information like lease/mortgage documents and copies of insurance policies — medical, auto, homeowners and renters — if you need to leave your home. Remember to fully charge any mobile phones, laptops, mobile devices, cameras, and rechargeable batteries in case you lose power.
Don't forget to take your prescription medicines and spare set of eyeglasses with you if you need to evacuate.
Keep your checkbook, credit and debit cards with you.
ATMs will not work if there is no power so you may want to get some extra cash before the storm hits.
Try to stock up on the following supplies: Water; non-perishable food, flashlights, battery-powered radio (NOAA weather radio, if possible); extra batteries, and first aid kit.
Since the path of Hurricane Florence, according to NHC forecasters, is uncertain, residents should continue to monitor local media and official, verified social media accounts from public safety agencies for the latest information on the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website at www.scemd.org
The South Carolina Emergency Response Team will continue to track Hurricane Florence and remains fully dedicated to preparing for the storm's potential impact on South Carolina. Forecasters say that Florence is currently a Category 3 hurricane and has the capacity to bring record amounts of rain to South Carolina. The State Emergency Operations Center is fully operational, staffed by emergency personnel from various state agencies and emergency organizations. The SEOC will be operational 24 hours a day until further notice.
There are currently 35 emergency shelters open throughout the state with over 1,800 occupants (find current openings here) . The Public Information Phone System has been activated. You may call 1-866-246-0133 for emergency information
Drivers evacuating the coast should fuel their vehicles before leaving, drive carefully, be patient, and expect some congestion. Evacuation routes and information on lane reversal can be found here. Drivers using the I-26 lane reversal should watch the explanatory video here.
The SCDOT Call Center is open and standing by to offer assistance with evacuation routes: 855-GO-SCDOT (855-467-2368). Drivers may also use the SC 511 system for traffic info: www.511sc.org
The I-26 lane reversal will end tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:00 PM in order to move SCDOT crews and equipment to safety prior to the arrival of tropical storm force winds. If you are leaving from the Charleston, please do not wait until the last minute for your safety.
The US 501 lane reversal in Horry County will end tomorrow (Thursday) at NOON in order to move SCDOT crews and equipment to safety prior to the arrival of tropical storm force winds. If you are leaving from the Myrtle Beach area, please do not wait until the last minute for your safety.
DHEC is closely monitoring developments with Hurricane Florence. DHEC staff continues to actively assess and respond to ongoing public health and environmental needs across the state.
On Monday, team DHEC issued a media release requesting owners and operators of dams and reservoirs to begin lowering water levels ahead of Hurricane Florence. Over the weekend, team DHEC began pre-storm assessments of dams in the coastal counties. Pre-storm assessment of dams continues across the state.
DHEC plans to utilize an emergency notification system again today to automatically notify dam owners via voice call, text messages and email to take steps in preparation for the potential impacts from Hurricane Florence. Additional information about dams and reservoirs is available on DHEC’s website, here.
DHEC OCRM has issued blanket emergency orders to local governments to allow property owners along the immediate beachfront to conduct minor renourishment, sand scraping or install sandbags to provide temporary protection to beachfront structures from wave uprush. Local governments can contact DHEC OCRM directly with questions about this emergency order. Additional information is available on DHEC’s website, here.
Team DHEC continues to work with healthcare facilities impacted by the Mandatory Medical Evacuation of Healthcare Facilities, Executive Order 2018-28.
You may call DHEC’s Careline, 1-855-472-3432, for general questions about DHEC services and the Special Medical Needs Shelters. During this event, DHEC’s Careline is operating 24 hours a day.