CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - People living in Charleston were preparing on Wednesday for possible impacts that could come to the area from Hurricane Michael.
The storm hit Florida earlier Wednesday morning as a strong Category 4 hurricane.
In Charleston, officials say we should only expect tropical storm-force winds and rain.
Regardless, officials from the city reassured people on Wednesday that they have prepared for the worst.
“Our essential and emergency personnel, of course, will be all on duty to prepare and to protect our citizens and our property,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said.
Charleston crews have lowered the water level in man made lakes around Charleston, like Colonial Lake. Crews have also cleared ditches to prepare ahead of flooding.
Chief Luther Reynolds with the Charleston Police Department said officers are preparing by blocking off some streets prone to flooding ahead of the storm.
They will also be ready with barricades for any surprise flooding that happens in our area.
“We recommend to people that if you don’t need to go out, to stay home and be safe because it’s going to be a nasty day tomorrow,” Tecklenburg said.
Some people and businesses have also taken steps to prepare for the storm.
The Charleston County Public Library’s branch in West Ashley closed early on Wednesday to set out sandbags and clear out everything on the floor of the library.
“We’re in a flooding zone and we’ve been prone to flooding a lot,” Assistant Branch Manager at Charleston County Public Library Amy Fordham said.
Fordham said even in small storms, the library can easily flood. She’s only been working at the West Ashley branch since February, but she’s already seen flooding because of a regular storm.
“Water was coming into the front door and up almost to the circulation desk,” she said.
Several people in Charleston said they were caught off guard by the storm, which seemed to become a possible threat much faster than Hurricane Florence a few weeks ago.
“It was just all of a sudden there, and now it’s right on top of us,” West Ashely resident Angela Atkinson said.
Atkinson said her biggest concern is the wind we could see from the storm.
During tropical storms in the past, she’s had trees fall on her house. She’s worried something like that could happen again.
“I am kind of worried about with the storm and the wind that it could knock one of those trees down,” Atkinson said.
The City of Charleston will offer free parking in a few parking garages in downtown Charleston tomorrow in case you need to park your car there.