Beaufort Co. hurricane re-entry passes are back

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 5:45 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Hurricane re-entry passes are back this year in Beaufort County, although emergency management is hoping they won’t get used.

The passes would come into play if a tropical storm forces residents to evacuate, but there are some details you need to know now ahead of any storms.

The deadline to sign up for re-entry passes is April 30, but the sheriff’s office says only specific people need to do it. They break it down into a four-tier system, with the top three being allowed back in after an evacuation before general residents or property owners.

“Just getting life back to normal from a disaster. We start with road clearing crews and emergency personnel that are treating people and rescuing people to restoring normal life with businesses and roads are safe at that point. We just must make sure all these things are completed before we allow the general public to re-enter,” Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bob Bromage said.

He says following a bad storm and evacuation, Beaufort County residents or property owners just need a driver’s license or property tax receipt to get back in, as opposed to a re-entry pass. Just as emergency personnel is prioritized initially, residents get priority later. Visitors are outside the tier system and are let back in last.

This system has not been needed since Hurricane Matthew though, and the sheriff’s office says they’ve improved how it works since then.

“We’ve hopefully had considerable improvements since. Our planning, we’ve identified certain vulnerabilities at that point and of course we’ve addressed those issues,” Maj. Bromage said.

Hurricane season starts June 1.

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