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After Irma

Posted: September 12, 2017 12:49 p.m.
Updated: September 12, 2017 1:00 a.m.

By now, we hope Irma has either largely passed us by or lost enough strength to be more annoying than anything else. Here’s hoping we all made it through unscathed and minimally inconvenienced.

Nonetheless, just because the storm is over does not mean danger has passed.

Most likely, our problems are going to be caused by heavy rains more than anything else. With that in mind, please continue to exercise caution. If you live near large bodies of water, be aware of the conditions out there -- lake levels, stream currents, etc. 

Also, remember that heavy, saturating rains can and will bring big trees down -- the heavy rains compromise and overload the root systems, making the trees extremely vulnerable. So, be careful. 

Finally, please do not drive in flooded areas. That may sound obvious, but after a storm like this, conditions are going to be worse than usual. Not only do you not know what is under the water -- a sinkhole, a heavy obstruction -- but moving water is extremely powerful; it only takes about 6 inches of water to stall and disable most vehicles and it only takes about a foot of moving water to carry away most vehicles, including large pickup trucks and SUVs. Sadly, we lost a person in Kershaw County during the Oct. 2015 Historic Flood event due to this very situation. 

So if you can’t see the road, don’t risk it; it’s not worth anyone’s life.

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