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Williamsburg County opens shelters, hosts sandbag operation

September 13, 2018

Williamsburg County residents bag sand Wednesday afternoon in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

KINGSTREE, S.C. – Four shelters have opened in Williamsburg County so far this week to accommodate people who may be seeking a safe place to stay during Hurricane Florence.

Jeff Singleton, public information officer for the county’s emergency management/E-911 division, said shelters are now open at C.E. Murray High School in Greeleyville, Kingstree Senior High School in Kingstree, Hemingway High School in Hemingway and D.P. Cooper Elementary School in Salters.

“The county is setting up shelters for ourselves; however, if there’s an influx of people that’s stopping by here from the coast, we’re going to try to accommodate them because obviously they don’t have any shelters,” Singleton said.

According to a media advisory by Singleton on Wednesday, people who need to stay at the county’s shelters should bring linen and other important items.

It has not yet been determined how long shelters will stay open. Closing information will be announced later.

Evacuation is not required but strongly suggested because of the storm’s strength, the release said.

Over the last two days, the county held a sandbag operation at the public works facility on County Camp Road in Kingstree. From 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Williamsburg County residents were able to fill a maximum of 10 bags with sand to use during Hurricane Florence. County employees filled bags for people who are elderly, but other residents had to fend for themselves.

Singleton said it would be on an “exception basis” that the sandbag operation be extended past Wednesday. That has not yet been determined.

The Williamsburg County Emergency Operations Center is open, and the county is currently operating on OPCON 1, Singleton said. OPCON 1 means that response activities are in process and agencies are capable of full response, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

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