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For four consecutive years, a tropical system has impacted The T&D Region and South Carolina. Logically, the beginning a hurricane season on June 1 is significant in the Palmetto State.

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In 2018, hurricanes Florence and Michael were projected to have major impact locally but tracks changed. The T&D Region was fortunate to escape with only a fraction of the destruction and flooding caused elsewhere in South Carolina and in other states.

In October 2017, the storm surge from Hurricane Irma caused major flooding and damage -- but largely on the coast.

The year before, Hurricane Matthew came up the coast and brought major power outages, downed trees, structure damage and flooding to Orangeburg and neighboring counties.

Not directly blamed on a tropical system but impacted by one to create “the perfect storm,” October 2015 produced flooding that set records locally and caused major damage from the central coast through the Midlands.

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In 2019, South Carolina is determined to be prepared.

Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed May 26 through June 1 as South Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week. The S.C. Emergency Management Division, county emergency managers and the National Weather Service urge individuals, businesses and communities to begin preparations ahead of hurricane season. Advanced preparation and planning safeguard lives, protect property and lessen the devastating impact of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Hurricanes and tropical storms not only threaten the coast but all areas of South Carolina. Flooding from widespread, torrential rains is one of the most deadly and destructive hazards associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. High winds and tornadoes can cause severe damage to buildings and homes.

South Carolinians should take the time this week to prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane by reviewing their family emergency plans, developing a disaster supply kit, reviewing insurance policies and talking with your family about what could happen during a disaster.

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The Emergency Management Division released the official 2019 South Carolina Hurricane Guide. SCEMD and partner agencies have updated the guide for the 2019 hurricane season. It details useful information on what residents should do before, during and after the landfall of a major hurricane. It includes updated evacuation zone information for Charleston County and new information about a new weather service being provided by SCETV.

The 2019 S.C. Hurricane Guide was included in The Times and Democrat and other newspapers near the S.C. coast this past Sunday. It is also available online at https://scemd.org/stay-informed/publications/hurricane-guide/. And beginning June 1, the S.C. Hurricane Guide will be available at all South Carolina Welcome Centers, at any Walgreens store statewide and at SCDMV offices in locations including Bamberg and St. George and Varnville.

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Recent years are ample proof of the need to know how to prepare for a hurricane. While we are always hopeful the storms will remain at sea and spare our locale – and any other – counting on luck is not the way to go.

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