FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: July 31, 2020
Media Contact: Meagan Utsey, Administrative Services Director, PIO
Phone Numbers: 843-782-0502
843-549-5632 (Emergency Operations Center)
Colleton County Officials Continue to Monitor Hurricane Isaias
Colleton County officials continue to monitor Hurricane Isaias. It is becoming more likely that Colleton County will experience some sort of impacts from Hurricane Isaias, although it is too early to determine what those impacts may be. Although the impacts may be limited, there is still a potential for significant impacts on South Carolina between Sunday and Tuesday next week.
In the event the Governor orders an evacuation, it is very important that Colleton County citizens be aware if they live in an evacuation zone. There are two evacuation zones in Colleton County, Zone A and Zone B. Zone A consists of anyone living south of the CSX railroad tracks in the southern portion of Colleton County and includes the communities of Edisto Beach/Island, Jacksonboro, Green Pond, Bennetts Point, Wiggins, White Hall areas (between the CSX railroad and Ace Basin Parkway / U.S. Highway 17), the Bonnie Doone and Maybank/Prices Bridge communities. Zone B consists of areas south of Cottageville Hwy (U.S. 17-Alternate) from the Dorchester County line to Walterboro, south of South Jefferies Blvd, and east of Interstate 95 to the Hampton County line and includes anyone living along the Combahee, Ashepoo and Edisto Rivers that are subject to be inaccessible due to storm surge flooding.
If you are unsure of your home’s location, you can go to the following website from any computer or smartphone: www.scemd.org/knowyourzone . In the top left corner of the map, there is a place to type your address and the map will display your home’s location. If it does not appear in an area shaded yellow or red, then you are not in an evacuation zone.
Additionally, you can download the SCEMD App for your smartphone. The App has a number of useful tools that can help you identify if you live in an evacuation zone and can help you build an emergency evacuation plan. Apps are available from the SCEMD website at the following URL: https://www.scemd.org/stay-informed/mobile-applications/
If you live in an evacuation zone or in a mobile home, you should begin making plans to stay with a family member or friend outside of the evacuation zones. As a last resort and if those options are unavailable, a shelter will be opened at Colleton County High School (150 Cougar Nation Drive, Walterboro), if an evacuation is ordered by the Governor. The public shelter lacks many of the comforts of home and even cots and blankets may not be available until after the storm passes. The COVID-19 pandemic presents an issue for providing shelter to residents who may need it during evacuation orders. We strongly encourage you to make plans to seek shelter with family or friends who live outside the evacuation zones or stay at a hotel outside of the evacuation zones. If you choose to stay at the shelter, bring a mask to wear as all shelter residents and workers will be required to wear masks. The shelter capacity will be greatly reduced to allow for social distancing inside. Be prepared to exercise social distancing and to answer questions regarding your health and potential COVID-19 exposure. You should also expect to be screened twice a day when staying at the shelter. We have seen the spread of COVID-19 in congregate housing settings, such as nursing homes and jails, across the country.
Residents should review their personal safety plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storm threatens the state:
- Be sure your emergency supplies kit has enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, chargers, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.
- Prepare your home for tropical storm conditions by making sure gutters are cleaned, storm drains are clear and any lawn furniture can be secured.
- Keep your cell phones and mobile devices charged in case of power outages.
- Gather pet supplies and put them in an easily-accessible container.
- Know Your Zone. Residents in coastal counties can know their hurricane evacuation zone instantly by visiting scemd.org/KnowYourZone or downloading the SC Emergency Manager mobile app.
- Stay tuned to local media for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.
- Follow trusted, verified sources for the latest news and be prepared to follow the instructions of state and local public safety officials.
Should you have any questions, please visit Colleton County Fire-Rescue’s Emergency Management Division webpage at www.colletonfire.com. Colleton County Fire-Rescue’s Emergency Management Division and all of our Emergency Support Function partners have been collaborating for several days now, will continue to monitor the track and intensity of Hurricane Isaias and are making the necessary preparations to respond in the event Hurricane Isaias becomes a threat to Colleton County.