Storm preps underway around Coastal Empire, SC Lowcountry

Storm preps underway around Coastal Empire, SC Lowcountry

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Along with the Carolinas, parts of Coastal Georgia are also preparing for Hurricane Florence, just in case the storm makes its way south.

The city of Tybee Island is already taking necessary precautions by closing its offices for Thursday and Friday ahead of the storm.

The city of Savannah is not issuing sandbags, but the city of Tybee Island did offer residents the chance to fill sandbags on Wednesday.

City buildings on Tybee have been boarded up, and Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman is encouraging island property owners to do the same and prepare for the possibility of an evacuation.

Again, no evacuations have been ordered for Chatham County or Tybee Island at this time. However, double red flags are flying at the beach, which means the beaches are closed to swimmers and will remain so until the storm has passed.

As Hurricane Florence intensifies and heads towards the East Coast, emergency crews from all over the country are on their way to assist in disaster response. About 100 power crews stopped at the Tanger Outlets Savannah off Interstate 95 in Pooler Wednesday afternoon on their way north.

And 100 power crews from Alabama are currently staging on Boundary Street in Beaufort. Around 50 trucks from the Mobile and Birmingham areas rolled into town on Wednesday, and workers will stay in town throughout the storm. Beaufort County Emergency Management officials say it's just one way of preparing the county for whatever may come our way.

Currently, Beaufort County is not under an evacuation order, but county leaders and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster are urging residents and guests in low-lying areas and others wishing to minimize their exposure to this dangerous storm to evacuate south, or, at the very least, to higher ground.

"Folks that know what they already experienced in Matthew….now is the time to move," says Lt. Col. Neil Baxley, BCSO Emergency Management Division.

The City of Beaufort says its "Citizen Sandbag Station" has been re-stocked and will re-open Thursday morning at 9 a.m. and remain open until supplies last. So, this this will be resident's last chance to get sandbags at the station, located at Southside Park.

Governor McMaster's mandatory evacuation order does include Colleton County Zones A and B. Colleton County Fire-Rescue and Sheriff's Office personnel will be going door-to-door on Thursday urging people to evacuate from Zone A. That includes Edisto Island, Jacksonboro, Green Pond, Bennetts Point, Wiggins, White Hall areas, the Bonnie Boone, May Bank, and Prices Bridge communities.

Remember, South Carolina's Emergency Helpline is active around the clock. If you have questions related to Hurricane Florence, call the state's Public Information Phone System at 1-866-246-0133.

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