SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — Emergency management officers across the Midlands have their eyes on the tropics, as the path for Hurricane Dorian and it's local effects continue to remain uncertain.
RELATED: Dorian upgraded to Category 3 'major hurricane'
In Sumter, they're monitoring the storm by gathering National Weather Service and Hurricane Center data, as well as working with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) to monitor trends and prepare for the possibility of severe weather.
Erik Hayes, the Sumter Emergency Management Director, is monitoring these trends for Sumter.
"Just like anything, we take the updated information, we're watching the hurricane tracks from the Hurricane Center, the changes in those forecasts, just as anybody else would, and make our preparations," Hayes said, "and then, on the local level, we share that information, continue to talk about the possibilities and any tasks that might be upcoming."
Hayes says people in the area should make a preparation plan, and keep it for any severe weather.
"You know the challenges that could affect anything from a hurricane or any storm. Power outages could be an issue... rain fall, what amount of rain fall do we get, and if there is standing water in a roadway or somewhere you need to go through, don’t drive through that water," Hayes said. "Be prepared. And just maintain a vigilant watch over what’s being told by the National Weather Service or the National Hurricane Center on what to expect and things to do.”
Sumter Police are monitoring Traffic Control Points, as a result of the mandatory coastal evacuation. These include areas in the city, along commonly used routes from the coast, including U.S. 76 and 378, according to a spokesperson for the department.
Duke Energy and Black River Electric Cooperative are also preparing for the storm.
In a Facebook post, Duke Energy writes, in part:
"Hurricane Dorian could bring strong winds, heavy rainfall and flooding to portions of the Carolinas in the coming days. Have a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe location in case an extended power outage occurs and stock an emergency supply kit now to save valuable time later."
They also say that call center representatives and other personnel are preparing to respond, if needed.
At Black River Electric, their leadership team is meeting daily to prepare for the possible impact of Hurricane Dorian.
In Facebook post, the company writes, in part:
"We are working with local, state and national weather representatives as well as our statewide organization to best prepare for the storm. At this point, the hurricane patterns are still uncertain and we do not know how this storm may effect our area. However, we are watching, preparing and tracking for all scenarios."
Shaw Air Force Base has been operating under Hurricane Condition Four (HURCON 4) since Sunday at 7:00 PM. This means they are preparing for the possibility of destructive winds within the next 72 hours.
As of 4:00 PM on Monday, September 2, all Sumter School District schools and offices are still scheduled to open as normal on Tuesday.
For more information on how to prepare for severe weather click here.