Charleston Co. honors retiring emergency management chief

Cathy Haynes (Source: Live 5)
Cathy Haynes (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Council recognized the county's outgoing chief of emergency management operations Tuesday night for her service.

Cathy Haynes is set to retire at the end of June after 35 years with Charleston County government.

She led the county through Hurricane Matthew in October, holding news conferences with her counterparts from other counties to keep residents updated on what emergency crews were doing to prepare for the hurricane and to keep people safe during the storm.

Haynes also played a role in leading the county through the so-called 1,000-year flood in October 2015 and helped the Lowcountry get through Hurricane Hugo in September 1989.

Earlier this month, Haynes said tweaks were made to emergency plans since Matthew's landfall in McClellanville.

"We always learn lessons from previous incidents that happen," she said.

The main focus of the changes were evacuation routes, she said. But another highlighted topic, she said, was the importance to monitor official reports on TV and online.

"We're utilizing every way possible that we have to get the word out to the public," Haynes said. "We encourage you to listen and monitor the official posts."

Her career with Charleston County includes five years as a paramedic and 30 with the Emergency Management Department, Charleston County spokesperson Shawn Smetana said.

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