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Wed Sep 26, 2018, 06:24 AM

A South Carolina town braces for Florence's last act: record flooding


A South Carolina town braces for Florence's last act: record flooding

Georgetown avoided the the worst of the storm, but flooding is now unavoidable as water flowing from inland hits the coast

Khushbu Shah in Atlanta

Wed 26 Sep 2018 06.00 BST Last modified on Wed 26 Sep 2018 10.13 BST

In a late act of drenching the Carolina coast, flood waters from Hurricane Florence are set to pour into Georgetown, South Carolina. Although the community of 9,000 avoided the eye of the storm and much of the rain in the days after the hurricane hit, flooding is now unavoidable as water flowing from far inland hits the coast. Local officials said they expect the rivers near Georgetown to crest early on Thursday at record levels.

The community is doing everything it can to keep the historic town above water as the town expects anywhere from 5 to 10ft of water on the streets. Some 26,000 sandbags were passed out since the weekend, said Randy Akers, the deputy public information officer for the Georgetown county emergency operations center.

City offices and schools will be closed until further notice. Shelters are ready to take in families and pets. The national guard is in place to assist with water rescues.

As of Tuesday night, the town was still under voluntary evacuation, the Georgetown mayor, Brendon Barber, said. “The town is not shut down, but we’ve put aqua dams over between the bridges on [the highway],” Barber added.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation barricaded the bridge connecting Georgetown to the rest of the state with 3ft tall plastic dams. That will only hold off the water for some time and it’s simply a measure to keep the bridge and road open as long as possible, Akers explained. The highway will eventually flood, he added.

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