Region prepares for Hurricane Isaias
By DEUCE NIVEN
States of Emergency have been declared in the Carolinas, with Horry County government adding their own declaration as Hurricane Isaias is poised to make some kind of impact on the Tabor-Loris Community early next week.
Just how significant that impact will be isn’t yet clear, Isaias currently classified as a Category 1 hurricane could jog to the east or west, with even slight movement either way determining how much wind the region will get.
River flooding seems unlikely, at least for now, a late afternoon Friday National Weather Service update said.
Impacts were felt in the Bahamas Friday evening, impact on the south Florida coast expected Saturday night, it’s arrival in the Carolinas expected Monday.
Forecasts Friday included possibilities of the storm making landfall in Florida, and again later in South Carolina, a possibility that would reduce wind strength. While well offshore would mitigate impacts the National Weather Service said, a near shore pass could give the storm more strength from the warm waters and more impacts.
Horry County Council on Friday declared a localized State of Emergency in anticipation of Isaias, the county’s Emergency Management Department moving a step up to OPCON 2.
That means “the county is now operating in a heightened state of awareness with emergency plans beginning to be implemented,” a news release from county government said. “County officials have begun discussions with South Carolina Emergency Management, coastal communities including local municipalities, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
See the declaration here.
Horry County’s Emergency Operations Center has not been activated, but would be if events warrant.
It’s time now, the news release said, to begin hurricane preparations, by:
- Surveying your property to mitigate potential flooding, such as making sure storm drains and gutters are clear of debris.
- Having family hurricane plans in place.
- Ensuring family emergency/hurricane kits are ready; including items like water, batteries, flashlights, etc.
- Continually monitoring reputable weather information sources such as local media or the National Hurricane Center for the most up to date hurricane information.
- Keeping vehicles fueled up and serviced.
- Being sure that you Know Your Zone! Go to Horry County’s website at here.
- Knowing where you will evacuate if asked to.
- Making plans for pets.
For more hurricane information visit here.
“County shelters will be very different this hurricane season, if needed, due to social distancing guidelines and guidance from the American Red Cross,” a Columbus County news release late Friday afternoon said.
That distancing will greatly limit the capacity of shelters, currently planned at all three of the county school’s high schools and Edgewood Elementary School in Whiteville.
A shelter in the Guideway/Nakina/Old Dock areas is “TBD” (to be determined,” the news release said. Guideway Elementary has been a shelter for the area previously, but it has been closed as part of a county-wide school consolidation process.
“County emergency shelters will be very limited and should only be considered as a last resort,” the news release said. “County shelters should be considered a last resort with very basic provisions for a safe, dry environment, and limited meal capacities.”
Cots will not be available if shelters open, for at least two days. Residents who find a shelter to be their last resort should visit here.
Those who seek shelters at shelters need to bring sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. Disaster supplies should also be brought.
Suggestions for a disaster supply kid can be found here.
If shelters open in the county, at least one will be designated a pet co-location facility where residents can evacuate with their cats or dogs. Guidelines for those shelters include:
- Only cats and dogs will be accepted at the pet co-location shelter
- Owners must stay at the shelter with their pets
- Pets will be housed in a separate area of the shelter due to health and safety concerns
- Those who bring pets must bring pet vaccination records and at least five to seven day supply of food