Lowcountry Emergency Personnel/Volunteers Deal with Severe Weather

The combination of steady rain and high tide brought water levels to near flood levels in Beaufort on Saturday.

Emergency responders say this is something they’ve been taking a close look at all day, just in case.

When the rain added to high tides in Beaufort, it left a marina parking-lot underwater. The tide even scaling the sea wall in some spots.

A perpetual mist, sometimes a downpour, leaving areas in a flood-risk situation.

This is what Lowcountry emergency responders prepare for.

“We have plans if the flooding gets bad, to bring extra personnel in if we need,” said Captain Randy Hunter of the Bluffton Township Fire District.

Bluffton firefighters were staffed early Saturday, keeping a check on road conditions.

There had already been areas of Bluffton Parkway flooded earlier in the week.

“But we want to make sure that people do see that, that we don’t want to drive through any standing water,” said Captain Hunter. “They can be very deceiving as to, ‘can we make it’, so we want to make sure what we’re putting out there is ‘turn around, don’t drown’.”

Captain Randy Hunter encouraged drivers not to risk their safety.

“Don’t take the standing water lightly. Always treat as if it’s deeper than you think,” said Hunter.

Two of the crew were even sent to Columbia, part of a task force to deploy to other areas in need of help.

While the Red Cross volunteers readied local shelters, in case Lowcountry neighbors needed a dry place to stay.

“Anybody can go there that needs to, we’re typically looking for anyone that’s been adversely impacted by this event,” said David Howell a volunteer with the American Red Cross.

Shelters in Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton Counties would be staffed with volunteers.

David Howell hoped more volunteers and donations could be gathered before any emergency.

“There are 35 that are from this area that are on standby to go and open shelters if necessary and they cover everything from opening and closing the shelters,” said Howell. “To feeding, and also for anyone that needs medical or mental health assistance.”

If you want to volunteer with the Red Cross or donate supplies,
http://www.redcross.org/?scode=RSG00000E017&dclid=CLGMpaLDp8gCFRQdHwod6-oLIg

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