Due to the threat of inclement weather from Hurricane Idalia, Richland County Government is encouraging citizens to plan ahead and exercise caution.
Rainfall and winds are forecasted to increase around 6 p.m. Wednesday with sustained 20-30 mph winds and potential gusts of up to 45 mph. These conditions are expected to continue through the night and into early Thursday morning.
Richland County residents can expect potential flooding in low-lying areas and possible downed trees and powerlines. If you have experienced flooding in the past or live in a low-lying area, please do not wait to prepare. Take action now. Do not stay in a mobile home, camper or tent. Move to higher ground or stay with a family or friend.
While County offices plan to remain open, citizens are asked to handle any necessary business by noon tomorrow as a safety precaution. Citizens also are encouraged to:
Double Check Emergency Kits: Prepare an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, and important documents. Make sure your kit can sustain your household for at least three days, but preferably with enough supplies to last a week or more.
Clear Gutters and Drains: Make sure to clear your gutters and storm drains of debris to prevent water accumulation and reduce the risk of flooding around your home.
Secure Outdoor Items: Store or secure outdoor furniture, garden tools, and toys. High winds can turn these objects into dangerous projectiles.
Stay Informed: Monitor local weather forecasts and stay informed about the developments of the storm. Have several ways to get emergency information.
Additionally, residents are encouraged to use extreme caution while driving and only be on the roads if absolutely necessary. If you encounter a flooded roadway, do not try to drive through it. Turn around and find an alternate route.
The Richland County Emergency Operations line will open at noon Wednesday. Residents with concerns or questions may call 803.576.3439. Residents may also visit the Richland County website and Facebook page for continuing updates.