1 Million People Expected to Leave the Coast But Florence Is Tracking to the Upstate

BREAKDOWN OF LANE REVERSAL I-26/US 501 SEPT. 13** I-26 SCDPS will begin working to break down the lane reversal on I-26 on September 13 at 6 p.m. The reversed Eastbound travel lanes of I-26 will close at 6 p.m. in Charleston at I-526. The SCHP flush cars will leave I-526, then travel back toward Columbia in the Eastbound reversed lanes of I-26, opening each interchange as they pass. Any traffic already on the reversed side in front of the SCHP flush cars will be allowed to continue on to their destination. Once the SCHP flush vehicles have reached the crossover at I-77 and I-26 in Columbia, Eastbound lanes will be open to the normal traffic direction/flow soon thereafter. This process of breaking down the reversal is expected to take approximately four hours. US 501 - The Grand Strand: SCDPS will begin working to break down the lane reversal on US 501 on Septembe r 13 beginning at Noon. Any traffic already on the reversed side in front of the SCHP flush cars will be allowed to continue on to their destination. The process could take approximately four hours as personnel break down traffic control devices to open the Southbound lanes of US 501 to normal traffic direction/flow. SCFB President urges farmers to prepare ahead of Hurricane Florence South Carolina farmers are preparing for the potential impacts Hurricane Florence will have on crops and livestock. The hurricane is expected to make landfall in North Carolina by Friday and will have tropical storm effects well across the mainland of South Carolina. Corn harvest is underway and presents the largest concern statewide. Farmers have had several days notice ahead of the storm and are working around the clock to get their crop in as quickly as possible. As of September 4, approximately 63% of the corn statewide was harvested. South Carolina farmers planted 310,000 acres of corn in 2018, and the crop is valued at more than $187 million annually. Farmers are also harvesting tobacco, and the majority of it is grown in the Pee Dee region, which is expected to be the hardest-hit area in South Carolina. Annually, tobacco accounts for $48 million in cash receipts and is among the state’s top ten commodities. In addition to traditional crops, livestock farmers are preparing by storing enough feed and fuel for generators. Fall vegetables could also suffer a negative impact from sustained rainfall. “We appreciate Governor McMaster’s leadership and foresight in issuing the Executive Order lifting the weight restrictions for transport of agricultural crops and livestock,” said SCFB President Harry Ott. “My family and I have been in our fields trying to harvest as much as we can before the rain begins. Farmers in South Carolina weathered the 1,000-year flood in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, so we are certainly praying for the best.” All farmers are encouraged to lower their farm ponds to help mitigate extra stress on dams. SCFB will share up-to-date news from government agencies, such as USDA-RMA, and the State Department of Agriculture, throughout the next several days and weeks.

FLORENCE SHIFTS SOUTH, A ROUNDUP: The Government expects that 1 Million South Carolinians will leave the coast, starting Tuesday.

Evacuees were complying with Gov. Henry McMaster's call for a mandatory evacuation, made today (Sept. 10), in advance of Hurricane Florence. All coastal zones will evacuate beginning tomorrow (Tuesday, Sept. 11) at noon. Major highways and roadways will be reversed to facilitate the evacuation. One of SC's most destructive hurricanes - Hugo in 1989 - also struck in September.

These counties are ordered for evacuation: Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry. The Laurens County Council was told Sept. 11 that 9 members of the Swift-Water Rescue Team, County Fire Service, and 2 boats will leave the morning of Sept. 12 for staging at the SC Fire Academy in Columbia. From there, they will receive orders to go to a hurricane-effected area - NC, SC or Georgia.

The state's emergency Public Information Phone System is 1-866-246-0133.

 

Fatz Southern Kitchen Supports Hurricane Florence Relief  

GREENVILLE - Sept. 12, 2018 – In preparation for Hurricane Florence, Fatz Southern Kitchen is offering services and discounts to help travelers and surrounding communities brace for a week of potentially dangerous weather in the Carolinas. 

Fatz will extend operating hours and offer meal delivery service to hotels, shelters and residences. Fatz locations will also offer complimentary Wifi, and many have extra parking for RVs and trailers. There are over 20 Fatz restaurants located on evacuation routes, interstate and highways in the Carolinas that will be stocked and open for business.

To help offset costs to our guests during this window of extreme weather, Fatz will extend two coupons valid through 9/23/18:

  • Buy One Calabash Entrée, Get One Calabash Entrée FREE – valid anytime with purchase of two beverages.
  • Buy One Burger, Get One Burger FREE – valid at lunch with purchase of two beverages.
  • A few exclusions apply and a coupon is required to redeem the offer. Full details and printable coupons can be found on www.fatz.com/coupons.

“Whether you are evacuating your home, a first responder, housing displaced friends and family, or just need a warm meal, Fatz will be here,” said CEO Jim Mazany. “We want to do everything in our power to help the members of our communities stay warm, safe, hydrated and nourished during and after the storm.” Fatz in Clinton is on Hwy 72, at I-26, beside the Hampton Inn & Suites.

STORM TRACKING:

www.thestate.com/news/local/article218245140.html

www.foxcarolina.com/news/hurricane-and-storm-surge-warnings-in-effect-fo...

Hurricane Florence Aims at SC – Red Cross Readies for Storm; Releases Preparedness Tips

North Charleston – The Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross continues to work around-the-clock to prepare for Hurricane Florence. 

The organization has been in close contact with its community and government partners, while mobilizing personnel and material resources from across the country. The Red Cross urges everyone to prepare now by following the tips below:

HURRICANE SAFETY:

·         Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.

·         Build an emergency kit that contains food, water and other basic supplies for each family member to last at least three days. Also, don’t forget to include essential medications, copies of important documents and special items for your children and pets.

·         Follow evacuation orders (know your zone) and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe to do so.

·         If evacuation shelters open, you can find them by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps

·         Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets, including sturdy leashes or pet carriers, food and water, bowls, cat litter and pan and photos of you with your pet in case they get lost. Additional pet safety tips are available.

·         Find more information on preparedness on redcross.org

SAFE AND WELL:

·      The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available and open to the public and available in Spanish.

·      Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English. To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 Red Cross.

FLOOD SAFETY

Turn around, don’t drown. Stay off the roads. If you must drive and encounter a flooded roadway while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

Head for higher ground and stay there.

Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.

Keep children out of the water.

Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.

Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.

If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary.

Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe to do so.

 

State of Emergency: SC Residents Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Florence

 

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is urging consumers to heed disaster preparedness warnings as Hurricane Florence approaches.

While gathering food, water, and finding shelter are paramount, after meeting those needs, consumers are encouraged to consider the following to ease disaster recovery if Florence does hit South Carolina:

-        Organize your documents. Collect your most recent financial and identification documents and keep them in safe, dry place. Be prepared to take them with you if you have to evacuate.

-        Review your insurance policies. Become familiar with the types and levels of coverage you have. Consider taking an inventory of valuables in case you have to file a claim. Research whether your policies cover temporary shelter, replacement clothing or other items in the event of a disaster.

-        Read SCEMD’s Hurricane Guide. The guide provides detailed information on evacuation zones and routes, official communication channels that provide emergency alerts and much more.

-        Report price gouging. Report instances of price gouging to the police and the Office of the Attorney General by emailing reports to pricegouging@scag.gov, or calling (803) 737-3953.  For more information, see the Attorney General’s press release on price gouging.

-        Read SCDCA’s Recovering from a Disaster. After the storm passes, this guide can help you decide where to begin in the recovery process. Whether you have outstanding bills, need home improvement services or a temporary place to live, the guide addresses specific steps to take.

About SCDCA

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free, (800) 922-1594.

 

President Trump Signs Emergency Declaration

 

WASHINGTON - The US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Sept. 11 that federal emergency aid has been made available to the state of South Carolina. 

This will supplement state, tribal, local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by Hurricane Florence, beginning Sept. 8, 2018 and continuing.

The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures. Elizabeth Turner has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected area.

 

American Red Cross Welcomes Volunteers to Join Team

 

North Charleston –The Palmetto SC Region of the American Red continues to work closely with its partners in preparation for Hurricane Florence. As shelters begin to open and Florence inches closer, the Red Cross welcomes members of the community to join its team.

"For days now, our dedicated volunteers have been working non-stop to prepare for Hurricane Florence," said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer. "If South Carolina residents are looking for volunteer opportunities, the Red Cross would love them to join our team.”

Perspective volunteers can visit redcross.org/sc to start their application. After that, a member of the Red Cross team will reach out. A background check will be performed on every volunteer applicant. For additional information, please contact your local Red Cross office.

ADDITIONAL WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE: We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by disasters large and small by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting “FLORENCE” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

GIVE BLOOD: Visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive or collection location near you. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. The Red Cross relies on blood donations after disasters and year-round so that we have sufficient supplies whenever it’s needed.

 

South Carolina Civil Air Patrol Pilots Flying Evacuation Routes

 

WEST COLUMBIA — As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast, the South Carolina Wing of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is assisting with evacuation efforts.

The first CAP aircrew began flying at about 8 a.m. over Interstate 26 in South Carolina to observe traffic flow along the evacuation route. The team is looking for any issues that could impede traffic flow — including stalled vehicles and accidents — and reporting that information back to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. 

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.

 

U-Haul Offers 30 Days Free Self-Storage at 94 Locations in Advance of Hurricane Florence

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C., CHARLESTON, S.C., and RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 11, 2018) — Ten U-Haul Companies across the Carolinas and Virginia are offering 30 days of free self-storage and U-Box container usage at 94 facilities to residents who stand to be impacted by the heavy rains and extreme winds associated with Hurricane Florence. 

The Category 4 storm is expected to make landfall Thursday. The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency and thousands of residents are preparing for the approaching storm.

“People are preparing to leave their homes, creating an immediate need for secure locations where evacuees can bring the possessions they wish to protect,” said Doug Weston, U-Haul Company of Western North Carolina president. “As a member of these communities, we are in a position to help by providing this service to our friends who are in harm’s way.”

U-Haul Companies of Central North Carolina, Charlotte, Coastal South Carolina, Northern Virginia, Richmond, South Carolina, Southern Atlantic Coast, Southern Virginia, Tidewater and Western North Carolina have made 94 facilities across four states – including Georgia – available for assistance.

Families needing more information about the 30 days free self-storage assistance should contact the nearest participating U-Haul store. 

 

As you prepare for Hurricane Florence, please be advised of these crucial tips as it pertains to car insurance to ensure all drivers are protected. Time is of the essence:

Before a big storm, insurance companies put restrictions in place called “binding restrictions,” which prevent their agents from selling new insurance for vehicle damage (also called “full coverage”) in certain zip codes, or even whole states, if the probability of a damaging storm is high. 

Be aware that just because you carry comprehensive and collision doesn’t mean your insurer will always provide coverage for weather-related damage to your vehicle. Always check with your provider, and purchase extra floor or weather protection if necessary.  

Big storms have lasting impacts on insurance premiums. “Major weather events such as hurricanes affect car insurance rates in not just the area the hurricane hits, but across the entire state. According to The Zebra's 2018 State of Auto Insurance Report, South Carolina auto insurance rates have had volatile year-to-year changes since 2011, including both large rate increases and decreases. Losses from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Tropical Storm Irma in 2017 very possibly could have contributed to spikes in rates in the recovery periods,” says Alyssa Connolly, Director of Market Insights at The Zebra, the nation's leading independent car insurance search engine.

"Insurance companies determine customer rates based the individual’s risk (driving history, age, etc.) – but also on the total risk the company is assuming across a certain geographic area.”

 

Clemson Tips Websites:

 

https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/food-safety-in-power-outages/

 

https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/food-safety-in-hurricanes-floods/

 

 

Farm Bureau Insurance Adjusters Ready for Storm Response

 

Cayce, S.C. – As the state braces for the arrival of Hurricane Florence, South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Palmetto Casualty Insurance Company, are prepared to handle the claims that may result.

 

“Our adjusters have the tools, equipment and experience to assess the damage and issue a check to help policyholders with recovery efforts,” Mike Hooks, vice president of operations, said. “We will continue to monitor the storm, evaluate the damage Florence leaves in its wake, and we will quickly deliver on our promise to policyholders.”

 

Since South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and Palmetto Casualty Insurance Company are based in South Carolina, the companies have a statewide network of experienced and well trained adjusters and appraisers in place who are ready to respond. All claims adjusting staff are equipped with GPS systems and their vehicles are set up as mobile offices.

 

After the storm passes and once law enforcement allows adjusters into affected areas, Farm Bureau Insurance will determine the best location to set up a Disaster Center, if needed. This will provide our adjusters with a central location from which to work and it will also allow policyholders to meet with Farm Bureau Insurance representatives to report a claim. Additional clams reporting information will be provided once the storm passes.

 

Policyholders can report claims any time by calling 1-800-799-7500 or by visiting the online Storm Center at www.SCFBIns.com.

 

 

 

 

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Hurricane Florence

The National Hurricane Center expects impacts from Hurricane Florence along the coastal southeastern U.S. into the mid-Atlantic region. According to the National Hurricane Center, flooding, hurricane force winds and storm surge are likely in portions of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Everyone in the path of the storm should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials.

Hurricanes present the possibility of power outages and flooding that can compromise the safety of stored food. Residents in the path of this storm should pay close attention to the forecast. FSIS recommends that consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.

Steps to follow in advance of losing power:

  • Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.
  • Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so don’t overfill the containers.
  • Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
  • Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.
  • Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling. 

Steps to follow if the power goes out:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
  • Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
  • Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days. 

Food safety after a flood:

  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water—this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw‐caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home-canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
  • Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel‐type can opener. 

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
  • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
  • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
  • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage. An infographic is also available outline steps you can take before, during and after severe weather, power outages and flooding. FSIS provides relevant food safety information during disasters on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook.

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

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Phone: (864) 833-1900
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