Florence county prepares for Dorian

Natalie Bowers, Copy Editor

While hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas, Florence County prepared for its impact ahead of its arrival.

“The most important thing is to take necessary precautions ahead of time to make sure your family has every need met before the storm hits,” Levi James, public education/information officer for Florence County’s Emergency Management Department, said.

“Food supplies, water, batteries–whatever you may need during a crisis situation, go ahead and make sure you have it,” James said. “Make sure the information and updates you are receiving are accurate.”

Wednesday, Sept 4, during the afternoon, the Florence County Emergency Management Department moved to OPCON 1 (operational condition) with full activation of the Emergency Operations Center.

Wednesday, Sept. 4, as Dorian began to reach the Carolinas FMU announced that classes would not be held for the remainder of the week.

Tuesday, Sept. 3, the storm was down to a category two, but still posed a threat to the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Mandatory evacuations and highway reversals were put into effect along the coastline. As of Tuesday, Sept. 3, FMU and Florence County District 1 had not made any class cancellations because of Dorian.

“We haven’t canceled any classes, but we are monitoring the situation and having daily meetings coordinated with the county’s emergency management department,” Douglas Nunnally, director of security and school safety for Florence 1 School District, said. “Usually one or two of our schools are designated as hurricane shelters, so if needed we are ready to secure our facilities and make sure everything is ready to be reoccupied.”

By Tuesday, Sept. 3, evening, a shift in Dorian’s path increased concerns and led Florence County 1 schools and Francis Marion University to take a half day on Wednesday, Sept. 4, due to the threat of severe winds and rain as the storm approached.