Georgetown officials prepare for Hurricane Irma

GEORGETOWN COUTY, SC (WCSC) - The City of Georgetown is preparing for Hurricane Irma.

On Thursday, City Council held a special meeting about those plans at the Law Enforcement Center.

If Irma does come through Georgetown, residents and business owners will need two forms of identification to re-enter.

That can include an electric bill and driver's license.

Georgetown resident, Jerome Bryant was filling up his gas cans ahead of the storm.

"That's what I have extra gas for, generators," Bryant said. "I have a generator at home, I use that too to have lights and maybe other stuff."

Some gas is running out and people want to prepared though its not clear where Irma will go.

Georgetown Resident Mike Massey has a plan.

"We had somebody come board up our windows," Massey said.  "We got them all cutout ready to put them on the bottom story, upstairs we already got them put them in place just in case."

The Georgetown City Administrator, Paul Gardner, says they are preparing as if it will be a catastrophic storm.

"If we have the indentation of a major hurricane having a direct impact on this city this building is in jeopardy so the public should be guided by that," Gardner said.

The building he is referring to is the Law Enforcement Center.

Though the building is strong, city officials always have a back-up location for emergency operations.

City officials encourage residents to listen to the governor and prepare to leave the area now, if they can, to avoid traffic over the weekend.

If hurricane conditions get too dangerous emergency officials will not be able to respond during emergencies during the activity.

Shelters will begin opening over the weekend. The primary shelter will be at Andrews Elementary School located at 127 School House Drive on Highway 153 and Pleasant Hill Elementary School located at 13072 County Line Road on Highway 41.

Director of Emergency Management in Georgetown, Sam Hodge, says there will also be other shelters available.

"Keep in mind when you go to a shelter you're on your own, they will not pre-deploy any cots or blankets before a storm or event," Hodge said.

Gardner says 30 percent of Georgetown citizens live in poverty and will need shelter because they won't be able to evacuate or get a hotel in another area.

Sandbags will be available for people in the Georgetown area at the old City Hall starting at 10 a.m. Friday morning. There is a 6 bag limit per person.

For updates you can follow the Georgetown County Emergency Management Department on Facebook or its website.

You can also call the Emergency Management Call Center in Georgetown for storm-related questions at 843-545-3273.

You can also sign up for alerts here.

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