SUMTER, SC (Oct. 4, 2015, 11 a.m.) – Rains are expected to continue throughout Sumter County throughout Sunday, adding even more water to the already flooded areas and making travel even more dangerous.
Because of this, we strongly urge, once again, that local residents remain where they are if at all possible. At the same time, an emergency shelter at Sumter High School remains open should it be necessary to use.
Most area highways have been officially closed. These include U.S. 601 toward Camden, U.S. 76/378 toward Columbia, U.S. 15 and the U.S. 76/378 bypass.
It cannot be stressed enough: there are many, many unnavigable roads throughout the county. Just because a road may not have signage saying it is closed does not mean it is safe to use. Remember, water on flooded roads can not only sweep away vehicles, but it can also hide damages to the road itself.
In addition, the current weather conditions can also create a health hazard for those exposed to the water. Because of this, the South Carolina Emergency Management
Division suggests the following tips:
- Prevent children from playing in flooded areas. Rapidly rushing floodwaters pose a high risk for drowning.
- Keep children from playing with toys that have been contaminated by floodwater until the toys can be cleaned/disinfected.
- Wash children's hands frequently and always before meals.
- Take care to protect open wounds from floodwaters.
The area flooding can also create situations in which animals, reptiles and insects can be more likely to come in contact with humans, resulting in bites and stings. If you have a reason that you must enter the floodwaters, be alert and try to avoid coming into contact.
Any Sumter County residents with non-emergency calls can be made to the Sumter County Emergency Management offices at (803) 436-2158. Emergency callers should still use 911.