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Charleston Co. moving to OPCON 3 as Hurricane Irene nears - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Charleston Co. moving to OPCON 3 as Hurricane Irene nears

Emergency Operations Center being setup. (Source: Harve Jacobs) Emergency Operations Center being setup. (Source: Harve Jacobs)
CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -
Charleston County is moving into Operating Condition 3 because of the uncertainty of Hurricane Irene's track. Officials announced the move to OPCON 3 during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

OPCON 3 level means an emergency or disaster situation is likely or imminent, it partially activates the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and it notifies county employees who may be called into the EOC to stay on alert and be ready to act if needed.

The Charleston County Emergency Operations Center held a press conference in the county council chambers to discuss precautions should a hurricane hit the area.

State emergency management officials are already urging residents to stay alert and be ready to leave if need be as Hurricane Irene approaches.

"We are now at the height of hurricane season, and for those who have not done so already, it is time to gather supplies and review family emergency plans in order to be prepared," said Cathy Haynes, Charleston County Emergency Management Department's Chief of Operations.

Charleston County School District spokesman Jason Sakran released a statement Tuesday that said the school district and local officials are closely watching the path of Hurricane Irene. 

"Right now, we are at 'OPCON 4,' which simply means that local officials have been notified that a storm could possibly be a threat to South Carolina," Sakran said.

Principals and department heads are taking preliminary steps now to prepare for a possible storm, including checking emergency phone lists and the readiness of buildings.

CCSD will work in coordination with local officials and the Charleston County Emergency Operations Center in making any decisions about delays or closures. Much of this will depend on the path of the storm and whether there are mandatory or voluntary evacuation notifications. 

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