Nature can be quite unpredictable at times as all of North and South Carolina found out in the week leading up to and following Hurricane Florence. As many of you know, our area floated in and out of the cone of uncertainty of what was one beast of a storm. Many compared the approaching storm to being stalked by a turtle and that seems to be a quite accurate description.
As the storm approached, our team at the City of Hartsville had daily storm preparation meetings to discuss and prepare for the unexpected that was lurking in the Atlantic. There was a constant flow of communication from all departments within the city to inform and safeguard Hartsville residents. We had teams of people working around the clock, away from their families, to protect you at home. There were three different locations across the city staged with members of our Fire, Police, and Public Services Departments conveniently located and ready to respond quickly to you as needed.
It is so important for citizens to listen to the warnings put out by the City of Hartsville as they always have your best interest in mind. When we ask you to refrain from placing garbage outside, this allows our Public Services Department to clean the streets so that trash doesn’t end up clogging the storm drains. The curfews that we put in place during storms are important because our officials have gone out and assessed the roads and see that there is an increased danger to drive around at night. Finally, when we ask that you avoid splashing around in the rainwater puddles, it is because we know of the dangers that lie in excessive rainwater backing up the sewer systems.
As always, our city truly shows its’ heart in the event of a disaster. Hartsville residents listened to our warnings and most responded positively and thankful that we had your best interest in mind. Local businesses and families supported our teams during the storm by bringing meals and sweet treats as well as offering words of encouragement for our hardworking first responders. Thank you to our neighbors in Hartsville and surrounding cities for participating in our Sandbag Exchange to help with resources during the time that we feared we could experience major flooding following the storm. We are also so appreciative for the outside help that came in from the Louisiana Swift Water Team and Columbia Fire Department to assist our first responders that had worked tirelessly through the storm.
While not everyone in Hartsville got out unscathed, we are so thankful that for the most part, we were much more fortunate than some of our neighboring cities along the coast and in the Pee Dee. We continue to keep all of those in our thoughts that are still experiencing major flooding as a result of the storm.
We encourage you to prepare yourself to receive the most information possible in future emergency situations. You can subscribe to our CodeRed Emergency Alert System by visiting: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BF6D035CEB88. We will also notify citizens through our Facebook Page, City of Hartsville, SC, Government and Instagram Page, @hartsville_sc.