CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A shelter opened in Chesterfield County Wednesday afternoon at the Sheriff’s Office in Chesterfield, SC as county officials prepared for whatever Hurricane Michael might bring.
In Cheraw, the hardest hit area in the county, public works crews spent the day clearing drains and debris across town. The area is still drying out from Hurricane Florence last month. The Chesterfield County Sheriff says the county saw about 27 inches of rain during the September storm, and while they’re only expected to see a quarter of that rainfall from Hurricane Michael.
County emergency managers aren’t taking any chances.
“We’ll have 100 cots here, we’ll set up chairs, and make it as comfortable for people as we can,” Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks said, describing the safety center his team is setting up at the sheriff’s office.
Brooks says the shelter will have accommodations for about 100 people in the old armory on Walton street in Chesterfield. They had the same set up for Florence with cots, water, electricity and some food for those who needed a place to stay.
With so many residents still dealing with damage from Florence, Sheriff Brooks is concerned about those who are still awaiting roof repairs, and the ground that is already very saturated.
“I am concerned about the wind levels. The ground is wet, we still have leaves on the trees, and you get wet tree leaves, wet ground, the wind and we’ll have lots of trees down and may have more power outages than we did with Florence,” Brooks said.
Brooks says he hopes no one is forced to seek shelter at the sheriff’s office, but county emergency management officials would much rather be ready to welcome residents than not.
In Anson County, concern isn’t nearly as high. Emergency crews spent the day running checks on generators and emergency vehicles just in case Michael brings some bad weather their way. Anson’s biggest concern after Florence was road damage, as the county saw more than sixty roads wrecked or in some cases washed away by flood waters last month. The concern in Anson isn’t nearly as high this time, but officials are prepared for whatever may come.
Schools in both counties will be closed Thursday. For more information, go to www.wbtv.com/closings.
The Chesterfield County shelter is located at the Sheriff’s Office at 203 Watson Street in Chesterfield, SC.