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County preparing for possiblility of Hurricane Irma strike

  • In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma approaches Anguilla on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history has roared into the Caribbean, its winds ripping off roofs and knocking out phones. It’s on a path toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly hitting Florida. (NOAA via AP)

Jasper County Fire Chief Wilbur Daley stressed diligence in front of the possibility of Hurricane Irma hitting our area.

Even though Irma’s path is still uncertain, Daley encourages residents to be prepared.

“Make sure you have all your essential needs, medications, so if you do have to evacuate, when that time comes, you have everything you need,” he said.

A mandatory evacuation hasn’t been declared, but Daley said it would be good to consider leaving soon to avoid traffic and get to a safe place before the hurricane hits.

“I’m not saying they need to evacuate right now, but if they want to, that would be great,” Daley said. “The biggest thing is, if you feel comfortable staying until mandatory evacuation, that’s fine. If you’d rather leave, that’s even better. You are not going to be stuck in traffic. You’ll be safe.”

Daley said Fire-Rescue will have a better idea of the storm’s path tomorrow afternoon.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School would be the county’s shelter site up to a Category 4.

Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency in South Carolina today to help prepare for a possible strike early next week from Hurricane Irma.

The declaration allows the state to begin certain preparations for an emergency and allows McMaster to use the National Guard if necessary.

National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini says Hurricane Irma is so record-breaking strong it’s impossible to hype.

Uccellini told The Associated Press on Wednesday he’s concerned about Florida up the east coast to North Carolina, starting with the Florida Keys.

He warns that “all the hazards associated with this storm” are going to be dangerous.

Hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel of MIT calculates that Irma holds about 7 trillion watts — about twice the energy of all bombs used in World War II.

Irma on Wednesday had winds of 185 mph (300 kph) and was one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in history.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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