AIKEN COUNTY, Sc. (WJBF) – Residents of Aiken County are preparing for possible severe weather when the remnants of Hurricane Ian hit the CSRA.
“People really need to take this storm seriously,” said Paul Matthews, the emergency director at Aiken EMA.
The EMA recommends that community members stay up to date on local weather conditions and move all their valuables inside to the highest levels of their homes. Sandbags along doorways and openings may also help prevent water from getting in.
In the event that standing water starts to gather around someone’s home, they should be prepared to evacuate before roads become unsafe to drive on.
“Have an emergency kit and an emergency plan for your family for those other incidents that are no-notice,” Matthews said.
Low-lying areas along the river below J. Strom Thurmond dam have the highest chance of being flooded, EMA said.
Although some homeowners along the river say they’re not too concerned about it, they said they’re taking precautions just in case.
“People should be prepared,” said Eric Parnell, who is building a house near the river. “Hopefully we won’t see as bad as what we’re hoping, but I feel pretty confident living here that we’ll be okay because of the lake levels. They’re able to hold some of that water back and keep the river from rising.”
There was flooding in Augusta back in April during the Masters Tournament on roads such as Stevens Creek Drive, and some residents worry that could happen again.
“I was on a island,” said Arlene Bernard, who lives on the road. “I have furniture down there, there’s not really anywhere to put it. I just have to pray.”
The EMA said it has been working closely all week with local agencies and they are fully staffed in the event of an emergency.