By Marquel Coaxum, Assistant Communications Manager
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (Oct. 9, 2018) -- Town of Mount Pleasant officials met Tuesday morning at Town Hall to review departmental readiness and finalize operational plans as Hurricane Michael approaches the coastline.
A category 2 hurricane sitting approximately 335 miles south of Panama City, Florida, in the Gulf Coast, Michael is currently projected to make landfall in the Panama City-Tallahassee area midday Wednesday and lose strength as it approaches the Carolinas from the south, according to National Hurricane Center projection maps.
“Right now we’re monitoring the storm to see how the path develops as it approaches the coast of Florida,” said Amanda Knight, the Town’s emergency manager. “As we saw with Hurricane Florence just a few weeks ago, these storms can be unpredictable and dangerous, so we’re meeting to discuss our response to what Michael may bring.”
In its most recent public advisory, the National Hurricane Center said that a tropical storm warning was in effect for the stretch of coastline from Fernandina Beach, Florida, to the South Santee River in South Carolina. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours, the National Hurricane Center said.
With significant weather projected to arrive in the Mount Pleasant area early Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center also says that the Charleston area may experience wind gusts of up to 40 mph by midday Thursday, and that there is a chance for tornadic activity in South Carolina.
What to do
Knight said that in preparation, there are a few things to keep in mind during these types of weather events.
- Turn around, don’t drown: In as little as 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
- Stay away from downed power lines: Storms can cause tree limbs and entire trees to break and fall, sometimes taking power lines and even meter boxes down with them. Always assume any downed power line you see is live and stay away. To report a downed line, call 888-333-4465.
- Report outages: SCE&G says the quickest and most efficient way to notify them of a power outage is to report it online using a mobile device. Customers can report outages on the site or register their mobile device to have the option to report or check the status of an outage through text messaging. Once a phone is registered, customers can simply text the word “Out” to 467234 (GOSCEG) anytime power is lost. Customers can also check the status of an outage by texting “Status” to the same number.
Town Administrator Eric DeMoura said that the Town moved to OPCON 4 at noon Tuesday.
He said Town offices are not anticipating any closures at this time. Members of the Infrastructure and Grounds Division of the Public Services Department have been placed on 12-hour day-night shifts to support storm operations, allowing the Town to quickly address any potential Town infrastructure damages caused by Michael.
The Waste Management Department is slated to continue their normal collection schedule unless the weather dictates a different course of action, he said.
Both the Police Department and Fire Rescue have also increased manpower in response.
All recreation activities will remain on schedule unless otherwise noted. Those signed up for events should register on RainedOut.com for the latest information on recreation cancellations.
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