Beaufort County officials urge citizens to prepare for severe weather

Published 4:49 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

Beaufort County officials urge all residents to make necessary preparations and stay alert to updates regarding a cold front that could bring hazardous weather to our region Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

Severe storms capable of producing heavy rains, dangerous winds and isolated tornados are possible as the cold front passes through our area between 7 p.m. and midnight on Tuesday.

Monday morning’s updated forecast from the National Weather Service put Beaufort County in an “Enhanced Risk” category for severe weather. This is a rare designation that we believe to have only occurred twice in the past six years. Both of those occurrences resulted in significant straight-line wind and /or tornado damage to parts of Beaufort County.

The forecasted effects could cause a variety of hazards including flooding, downed power lines, power outages, damage to trees and other vegetation, and damage to homes, businesses and other structures. In all incidences of severe weather, residents should have multiple methods of receiving official updates (TV, cell phone, radio etc.) as well as a fully charged device they can use to seek emergency help should issues arise.

Here are some things to check on as you prepare for this storm:

• Prepare your emergency supply kit. This should include a food and water supply, medicine supply, emergency power sources, safety and personal items, and important documents.

• Have arrangements for temporary housing in place in case you need to evacuate your residence during the storm. Have an emergency contact outside of the impacted region who can help you as needed.

• If you have a boat and plan on leaving it in the water during the storm, make sure it stays properly secured by making anchoring/mooring arrangements and removing valuable equipment from the boat.

• Make sure you have multiple ways of receiving emergency updates. Check your radio, local TV stations, cell phone and similar devices for updates on the storm. Make sure you have chargers and extra batteries available for your devices.

• If you have a generator, verify it is functioning before the storm arrives. Never run a portable generator inside your home.

• If you see a downed power line, move as far away from the line as possible. Do not go within 30 feet of the downed power line, and do not touch anything (including puddles) that the line is touching. Remember to keep your pets away from the line as well. If the downed line presents an imminent danger to you and/or your property, call 911.

• If you see someone contact a downed power line, do not try to rescue them; you will be putting yourself in danger. Call 911 immediately.

• Do not attempt to drive on flooded roads.

• Be aware of any tall trees that could present a hazard to you and your property should they become unstable or fall.