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Editorial: Be prepared

Posted: September 10, 2018 4:27 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2018 1:00 a.m.

It’s that time of the year again.

Right now, Hurricane Florence, which is still way out in the Atlantic, is generating dangerous surf conditions on our coast, but could easily steam into our coast by the end of this week as a Category 3 storm or larger.

While the tendency is to make jokes about the heavy runs on milk, bread and water at the grocery stores every time there’s a chance of a hurricane visiting us, and nobody enjoys the hassles of an evacuation, the fact is, these storms are no joke. Indeed, as you read this, Kershaw County and municipalities are making preparations for the worst. Even we at the C-I will go to press early, just in case we are due for a visit from this unwelcome visitor.

Powerful, damaging winds are always a major concern in storms like these, but around here, we are far more likely to experience problems with heavy rains than hurricane force winds. With that in mind, please 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 -- and very dangerous. 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, or how deep it actually is, 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.

Hopefully, Florence will wander off to sea and not bother anyone. But if she decides to visit South Carolina, please be prepared, be careful and be safe.

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