Tri-County, SCEMD operating on OPCON 3, monitoring Florence's forecast track
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division all moved to OPCON 3 as of 8 a.m. Sunday. This operational level means that a disaster or emergency situation is likely or imminent.
The City of Charleston moved to OPCON 3 as of 10 a.m. Sunday.
Georgetown County plans to move to OPCON 2 on Sunday, according to spokeswoman Jackie Broach. Colleton County moved to OPCON 2 on Monday morning.
Though the latest track shifted the average predictions for landfall toward Wilmington, North Carolina, all of the Lowcountry remains in the so-called "cone of uncertainty," with some models placing landfall well south of Charleston.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on Saturday afternoon.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is asking residents in potentially vulnerable areas to review their plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storm threatens the state.
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"We're watching Hurricane Florence very closely and it's too early to tell what impact, if any, this storm will have," SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said on Saturday. "It is the peak of hurricane season so even if this storm passes us by, there could be more hurricanes on the way in the coming weeks. It is vital that every resident have a personal emergency plan and be ready to take action if they need to."
"While it is still too soon to know exactly what the impact of the storm may be for our area, it is not too soon to begin preparations for yourself and your family," Charleston Emergency Management Director Shannon Scaff said. "Residents are encouraged to begin those preparations, including gathering emergency supplies, becoming familiar with evacuation routes and coordinating with family members."
"Berkeley County Emergency Preparedness Department will continue to prepare in the event of a hurricane or natural disaster," said Berkeley County Emergency Preparedness Director Ben Almquist. "We encourage citizens to be proactive in making their own emergency preparations. Because this is peek hurricane season, citizens should always be alert and prepared this time of year."
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