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Bluffton Fire Department continue to focus on Florence

Updated: Sep. 15, 2018 at 4:58 PM EDT
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BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) - As Florence continues to make its way inland, we haven't seen much effects across parts of the Lowcountry. Still, businesses, residents, and first responders were prepared just in case parts of the storm poked through.

It's business as usual in Bluffton. From morning jogs to weekend coffee runs, people are in their usual routines. But those with the Bluffton Township Fire District and other emergency officials are keeping their eyes on Florence.

"So far, so good," said Captain Lee Levesque. "But now we enter the wait and see phase of what we're worried about here at the emergency services in Beaufort County."

Capt. Levesque says it's still possible we could still see strong winds associated with Florence.

"Anytime storm related winds, you have to imagine what kind of damage can take place with such winds."

In order to prevent more disasters from taking place across South Carolina, officials have issued a statewide burning ban.

"The winds can cause those simple, good intended fires to spread and do great damage which is just another disaster."

Businesses across Bluffton continue to keep their guard up. Several stores were still boarded on Saturday morning.

"We appreciate the financial impact and understand when businesses are closing," Levesque said. "But on the other end of that coin, you have to deal with is death and loss of business completely."

Captain Levesque says emergency officials are satisfied with the way people responded to the original evacuation orders. Even when the governor lifted them for our area, people still prepared for Florence by either leaving voluntarily, boarding up buildings, or stocking up on supplies.

"We've done very well," Levesque says. "It's a hard thing when you're asked to evacuate and then not evacuate and the storm doesn't come."

First responders in Bluffton hope to resume normal operations within the next 48 hours.

In the next few days, Captain Levesque says agencies will come together to discuss procedures, figure out what worked, and find ways to improve for the next storm that heads our way.

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