Sumter Residents Prepare For Storm and Coastal Evacuees

Sumter prepares for Hurricane Matthew

Sumter County, SC (WLTX) - Sumter residents spent their day preparing for whatever comes there way including evacuees.

After being slammed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, residents there know all too well what our neighbors on the coast are worried about.

"Well the storm is coming and I'm a little afraid," Johnny Mickens Jr. said

Mickens lives in Sumter. With the storm approaching, he said he's not totally prepared.

"On a scale of 10 probably about a four," Michens said.

He's got the basic essentials, water, a radio and batteries, but he needed more supplies.

He was walking into the Simpson ACE Hardware store.

"It's been kind of crazy," Shawn Matthews said.

Matthews is the store's general manager.

"We've run out of a lot of things. Generators have been the first thing that was really the buzz for people Tuesday night and Wednesday and thankfully we've been able to get a bunch reserved and we're going to get those in. Batteries, propane. A lot of those items as well," said Matthews.

He said his customers aren't in a panic, but want to be ready for the worst.

"I think a lot of people are just being prepared and a lot feeling (are) torn. Is it really going to come? Is it going to turn east? What's going on?" he said.

With hundreds of thousands of people asked to evacuate the coast, Matthews said they're preparing for visitors too.

"We've heard a lot of people talking about needing air mattresses because their family members are coming from Charleston up," Matthews said.

And they're not the only ones prepared for the rush.

"The phone has been ringing all morning," Emeci Burroughs said.

Burroughs made reservations all day Tuesday at the Spring Hill Suites Marriott.

"We are bringing in people, the evacuees. The evacuees that are coming. We are bringing them in. Getting them comfortable, so they can ride out the storm here with us," she said.

And no matter what happens Mickens said he's got God on his side to weather this storm. 

"I can be at peace knowing that whatever happens it's going to be okay," Mickens said.

(© 2016 WLTX)


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