Thursday, September 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM
As all of us in Sumter are watching the news about Hurricane Florence, I encourage everyone to continue to prepare for what could be another damaging and dangerous weather event. Sumter is a community with great faith and knowledge of the power of prayer; so, I know many are praying for our safety and the safety of all who will be impacted by Florence, a very powerful and unpredictable hurricane.
I can assure you that your local officials and first responders have trained for events such as this and are as prepared as they can be. They are meeting several times each day, reviewing the most current information, and planning accordingly. We have been proactively working to be as certain as we can that our stormwater drainage system is clear, with emphasis on those areas that we know are subject to flooding. They are preparing to open shelters that will not only be available for Sumter residents who need them, but also for those evacuating the coastal area.
I want to emphasize that the City, County, School District and our State Legislative Delegation are working together to assure that all resources we may need will be available.
At this time, plan for very strong winds and a significant amount of rain. You need to be prepared for both. The City is prepared to order evacuation in areas with a history of severe flooding. This will be done as a last resort and only for the purpose of saving the lives of those residents and our first responders. For those that may consider evacuation please gather important items that you may need to take with you. Suggestions are food, special diet items, pillow/blanket, special medications, baby formula and diapers if required. Please remember that pets, weapons and alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the shelters.
If you have any questions, you may call our non-emergency line at 803-436-2700. As always, in case of emergency, please dial 9-1-1. The City has conveniently developed one announcement page for this storm, which will list useful resources and up-to-date news and closures as well as links to additional local official news sources for info on Hurricane Florence - www.sumtersc.gov/hurricaneflorence.
Please be safe and continue to pray; not only, as I said, for Sumter, but for every community in harm’s way.
Mayor Joseph T. McElveen, Jr.