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Emergency operations continue in Darlington County

September 18, 2018

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Darlington County Emergency Management operations continue on a round-the-clock schedule in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Florence, officials said Monday afternoon.

“We continue to operate on a 24-hour schedule,” said Darlington County Emergency Management Coordinator Molly Odom.

Late Monday afternoon, the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office announced there would be no curfew Monday evening for Darlington County.

Schools will remain closed Tuesday in the Darlington County School District, but teachers and staff should report to school as usual Tuesday for a teacher in-service day.

Odom said a number of rescues have been carried out among the different emergency response agencies in the county but said no immediate figures were available.

Odom said the county was able to use several canoes made available to it by the Pee Dee Boy Scouts to carry out some rescues, but no figures were available.

Officials were also beginning early damage assessments, Odom said.

“We’ve got some groups looking now, doing some preliminary work, earmarking areas where damage appears to be the heaviest,” she said.

Officials hope to begin more detailed assessments once the emergency is over, Odom said.

No evacuations have been ordered by county officials, and the county has ordered no water releases from any dams in the county, Odom said. The county is continuing to monitor creeks and dams.

In Hartsville, city officials said early Monday afternoon that residents might begin seeing wastewater coming up through manholes and into some city streets because water systems in the city have reached a critical point in the aftermath of the storm.

The heavy rainfall that water systems upstream from the city received combined with the rainfall locally has resulted in a backup of the city’s wastewater systems in and around Black Creek, where the city pump stations are located, according to a news release from the city.

The influx of water flooding into the pump stations will cause them to lose power and be unable to pump the wastewater into the treatment plant, the release stated.

City officials are warning residents to stay out of water in the streets and areas near Black Creek or Prestwood Lake, as it may be contaminated with wastewater emerging from manholes connected to the city’s wastewater system.

Drinking water will not be affected as a result of this backup, the release said.

In addition, the city’s Public Services Department constantly monitors and tests drinking water levels and will keep residents informed of any changes with the drinking water system, the release said.

Hartsville city administrative offices were closed Friday and Monday. Lauren Baker, the public information officer for the city, said Monday afternoon that officials were hoping to reopen city offices on Tuesday barring any unforeseen problems. City officials also were hoping Monday to resume city garbage pickup service on Tuesday, but that was not yet official, she said.

She said there was no curfew planned for the city for Monday night.

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