Law enforcement and fire departments are gearing up throughout The T&D Region for Hurricane Irma.
“It’s hard to prepare for the unknown,” Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers said.
Until late Thursday night, the National Weather Service predicted that Irma would make a second landfall along the southern Georgia border and whip her right bands over the Palmetto State.
Now Irma is predicted to remain in a northwestern pattern through Florida and into Georgia, but hurricanes near the eastern U.S. coastline have been known to be a bit unpredictable.
Summers is relieved that the projected destructive path of Irma is steering clear of the Palmetto State. But the sheriff’s office and other agencies are preparing for the unexpected.
“All vehicles are fueled up, all personnel are on standby to render aid if necessary,” Summers said.
Bamberg County Sheriff Ed Darnell said, “We’ve got everything rolling.”
As of late Friday, most of the duties of Bamberg County deputies included keeping the traffic flow running smoothly, Darnell said.
He said U.S. Highway 321 was experiencing heavy traffic in Denmark and U.S. highways 301 and 78 around Bamberg were seeing increased traffic flow due to evacuations from Florida and other affected areas.
Fire departments throughout the region are also prepared.
Eutawville Fire Chief Stephen Shuler said firefighters have sharpened the chains of their chainsaws and made sure every firetruck, generator and chainsaw is topped off with fuel.
“We made sure we have extra chains for the chainsaws, too,” he said.
“We’ve tested the generators to make sure they’re working properly and stocked up on water and canned goods in case we have to be at the fire department,” he added.
“We’re still going to get something from Irma, but it probably won’t be as bad as initially forecasted,” he said.