The Richland County Emergency Services Department continues to monitor future effects of Tropical Storm Irma. Rainfall amounts are expected to be below two inches with increasing winds throughout the daylight hours. RCESD is monitoring until 8 p.m.
Winds are expected to gust up to 55 miles per hour causing the potential for downed trees, power outages and the risk of tornados. To report downed limbs or debris affecting public roadways in Richland Co., call the non-emergency number at 803-576-3439. The county cannot assist with debris on private property.
You can monitor the county’s weather monitoring system, RC Winds, at rcwinds.com for the latest weather information.
Residents and businesses across the county should contact their respective utility providers to report power outages:
- SCE&G, 888-333-4465
- Fairfield Electric, 800-499-7862
- Tri-County Electric, 803-353-8746
- Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative, 803-769-4444 or 888-813-7000
- Dominion Energy, 866-401-5248
As of 11 a.m. there were no reports of power outages, flooding or trees down across the county. Dent Middle School at 2721 Decker Blvd. continues to be open as a shelter. According to Richland County, 49 people are being housed at the shelters. For more information you can visit www.rcgov.us.
Shelters: Dent Middle School, 2721 Decker Blvd., Columbia, remains open as a shelter. At present, a total of 49 people are housed at the shelter (38 adults and 11 children).
Lynne Douglas, public relations manager at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, said the airport is beginning to see some cancellations with flights to and from Charlotte and Atlanta.
Gov. Henry McMaster’s office announced The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center predicts Tropical Storm Irma could produce three to six inches of rain along with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour throughout the state. Flooding is possible in low-lying areas that are normally prone to flood.
A mandatory evacuation is still in effect for the following barrier islands: Edisto Beach in Colleton County; Daufuskie, Fripp, Harbor, Hunting and Hilton Head Islands in Beaufort County; and Knowles and Tullifiny in Jasper County.
SCEMD urges everyone to monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local media, to review emergency plans and to use caution as conditions warrant.
- Limit travel and use extreme caution around down trees and power lines.
- Treat every down power line as if it were live.
- Do not walk through moving water. Three to six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not ever try to drive around or move barricades that are blocking a street.
- Heed warnings issued by local public safety officials. When you hear an official alert, take safety precautions immediately.
- Call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies only. Residents may call the state hotline at 1-866-246-0133 for all other questions related to Tropical Storm Irma.
- The South Carolina Emergency Operations Center remains fully activated at Operating Condition One. OPCON 1 is the highest state of emergency operations.