Georgetown Braces for Florence's Final Stop

Sep 28, 2018

The city of Georgetown may get a bit of a reprieve as Hurricane’s Florence’s flood waters make a final push before heading out to sea.  Georgetown County officials now say an updated flood anticipation map from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources shows a much improved forecast and is encouraging people who have evacuated to take a look and decide if it’s safe to return. That certainly was not the case a couple of days ago.

Neighborhood near Crabtree Swamp Evacuated by National Guard
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

The day before President Trump visited Conway, Doug and Sissy Owen got a knock on their door.  It was the National Guard advising them to seek higher ground in 48 hours, well before the weekend when the Waccamaw River is  expected to crest.

“Thank God that we had notice and time to move everything out,” said Doug Owen.  “I can’t imagine

how these other people are who didn’t have any time.”

File photo
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Evacuation Order Remains in Effect for Edisto Beach and all Central and Northern Coastal Counties

Residents in the southern most parts of South Carolina no longer need to evacuate due to Hurricane Florence. Due to updated predictions from the National Hurricane Center, Governor Henry McMaster, in coordination with state and local officials, has lifted the mandatory evacuation order for zones in Beaufort, Colleton, and Jasper counties, with the exception of Edisto Beach. The mandatory evacuation executive order remains in effect for all zones in Horry, Georgetown, Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties and for Edisto Beach.

Governor McMaster Declares State of Emergency

Sep 8, 2018

Governor Henry McMaster today issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency and, along with the S.C. Emergency Management Division, has urged South Carolinians to prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Florence impacting the state. The executive order enables all state agencies to coordinate resources in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

A copy of the governor’s executive order can be found here.

Lowcountry Mayors Unite in Fight Against Sea Level Rise

Apr 27, 2018
Beaufort Waterfront
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Both have historic homes, waterfront parks and battery walls,  as well as  reputations for hospitality.  Charleston was named the  best southern city this year by Southern Living Magazine.  Last year, Beaufort was awarded best small town.  But that’s not all these two Lowcountry communities have in common.

“We’re sort of like brothers,” said Beaufort Mayor Keyserling.  He’s referring to his life-long, family friendship with Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.  Their cities may be 70 miles apart, but the two catch up by phone at least once or twice a week.

Hurricane Preparedness 2

Jul 7, 2017

We’ve been talking this week about being prepared for hurricane season.  You definitely want to have an emergency kit at home and an emergency plan in place in the case of dangerous weather. 

From space, a hurricane can appear as a beautiful cloud pattern. (Photo of Hurricane Isabel)
Mike Trenchard, Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory , Johnson Space Center, via Wikimedia Commons

The National Hurricane Center has predicted between 11 and 17 named tropical storms for this year, with 5 to 9 becoming hurricanes and 2 to 4 becoming major hurricanes of category 3 or above.  Meteorologist Mark Malsick of the State Climatology Office says the main thing storms need to get bigger and stronger is warm, shallow water.  

Hurricane Preparedness 1

Jul 6, 2017

If you remember Hugo, then you know how important hurricane preparedness can be.  Remember, it’s not just the wind you should worry about but flooding as well.  Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re prepared for this hurricane season. 

Hurricane Season

Jul 5, 2017

We’re in the midst of hurricane season, a time when warm ocean water fuels storms allowing them to grow into tropical depressions, and then tropical storms, until finally an area of disturbed weather can become a potentially dangerous hurricane. 

Evacuation Route image

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-normal hurricane season with 11 to 17 named storms. Five to nine of those STORMS could potentially become hurricanes. During Hurricane Matthew in 2016, less than 200 people used the state’s special medial-needs shelters. Officials with the state’s department of health and environmental control, (DHEC) are now working to learn more about the medical needs of coastal residents to better help them prepare for the next major storm.

Residents Begin Cleanup After Hurricane Matthew

Oct 10, 2016
Streets in downtown Charleston near the Battery were flooded and strewn with debris after Hurricane Matthew.
Alexandra Olgin/SC Public Radio

I trudged through knee high murky brown water to get to Amy Knoch house in Pepperhill a neighborhood in North Charleston, about 20 miles inland.

“My house had about 14 and change inches of water in it,” She said.

Knoch was standing, staring at her home in shock. Almost exactly one year after her house was destroyed by flooding the first time.

An aerial view taken from a Coast Guard helicopter showing the continuing effects of flooding caused by Hurricane Joaquin in areas surrounding Charleston, S.C., Oct. 5, 2015.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann

    The week after October's devastating flood, state offices were closed. "Not so much here at the Department of Insurance," says Director Ray Farmer.  He says employees came in and helped hundreds of flood victims file their insurance claims.  A few months later, the department received over 40,000 claims related to the flood - helping people across the state begin their recovery. Cooper McKim speaks with DOI Director Ray Farmer about the importance of insurance after October's storm and how to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

File photo of Hurricane Irene, 2011.

  June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season in South Carolina.  To note Hurricane Awareness Week, Gov. Nikki Haley held a press conference at which she and various agency heads discussed the expectations for this season.  Though the season is predicted to be average, Haley stressed that every family should have a hurricane plan.