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Hurricane Florence: ‘Help your neighbor,’ York, Chester, Lancaster officials say

Hurricane Florence track shifts south, could make South Carolina landfall, NHC says

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence's track has shifted south, making it more likely for a South Carolina landfall. Multiple models overnight Tuesday showed the storm hovering near N.C., then going along the coast to southern S.C.
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The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence's track has shifted south, making it more likely for a South Carolina landfall. Multiple models overnight Tuesday showed the storm hovering near N.C., then going along the coast to southern S.C.

Heavy rains from Hurricane Florence that could last for days and bring flooding to roads and potential power outages means that people in York, Chester, and Lancaster counties need to prepare their own families to be self-sufficient while also looking out for others, police and emergency officials said.

The latest storm track shows a potential of 10 inches of rain in the area over several days with sustained winds that could cause property and tree damage that leads to power outages.

York County Emergency Management Director Chuck Haynes said that the public needs to be prepared with supplies for “impact from the storm.”

Residents are also urged to check on the elderly and others with special needs in their neighborhoods.

‘Help your neighbor,” Haynes said. “Be ready to be take care of the people in your house but also look out for those people you know might need someone to keep an eye on them.”

York County Sheriff’s Office officials urged people to “work together” during the storm.

“There is uncertainty in this storm, but one thing we are certain of is that people in York County can and do come together in these kinds of storms,” said York County Sheriff. Kevin Tolson. “The best practice is to take care of your family, then look out for people who are less fortunate and may need a helping hand from their neighbors.”

Soliders with the 178th Combat Engineer Battalion of the S.C. National Guard are mobilized to assist during evacuation before and cleanup after Hurricane Florence.

Tolson urged people to monitor emergency management, law enforcement and social media sites for accurate information released by officials who are handling public safety and monitoring conditions.

“There is the possibility of flooding and downed trees,” Tolson said. “We know that downed trees can lead to power being out.”

Chester County has had a history of flooding on several streets in the city of Chester that could mean people impacted previously by storms could see flooding again, said Eddie Murphy, emergency management director. Murphy urged residents to watch water levels and assist others who might need help.

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office has officers specifically assigned to check on people with medical conditions and other special needs. Deputies will work a double-shift and stand-by schedule through the storm, said Robert Sprouse, chief deputy.

“Right through the storm it is all hands on deck,” Sprouse said. “Our entire office is prepared to protect people during this storm.”

Deputies have chainsaws and other equipment, and an armored off-road vehicle at their disposal, Sprouse said.

Lancaster County deputies are also going to be staged to help people weather the storm, said Doug Barfield of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. Residents who look out for their neighbors can help ensure those neighbors are handling storm conditions, Barfield said.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald
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