BARNWELL, S.C. (WJBF) – In Barnwell and Allendale County, officials are urging people to stay off the roadways.
Barnwell County Emergency Management Director Roger Riley is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
The fully staffed Barnwell County Emergency Management Operations Center is keeping an on the coast as Hurricane Matthew nears.
The E.M.A Director says despite the county being on a Flash Flood Watch, his biggest concern overnight is the heavy rain and strong wind knocking down trees.
“We hope that we don’t have any flooding issues,” Riley told WJBF NewsChannel 6.”Generally we don’t. But we are prepared to barricade roads and things like that if we need to.”
Several counties have issued curfews, but Barnwell County officials are just encouraging their residents to remain indoors.
While across the state hundreds have evacuated the coast, in Allendale County people living in the mobile homes are being asked to evacuate as a precaution.
Still, Riley urges anyone that does not feel safe in their homes to use the shelters.
“From the numbers that our state had predicted we don’t think as many people evacuated as should have and we hope that’s not the case. We hope our numbers were wrong,” Riley said.
However, one evacuee at the Barnwell Elementary School shelter says she took the Flash Flood Watch,warning to seek shelter inland very seriously.
“Our governor got us all out early,” said Jackie Carbiener, a resident of Hilton Head Island. “Traffic wasn’t a problem and the people. The Red Cross and the volunteers have just been wonderful.”
Barnwell County E.M.A. is on standby, if things get bad in Beaufort they will be sending help that way.
Riley says he cannot stress enough how important it is to evacuate while people still have time.
If you are needing to find a shelter or don’t know where to go, call 1-866-246-0133 for information.