EASLEY, SC – UPDATED 9/29/22 8:33 AM
As of today, the National Weather Service expects hurricane-related weather in Easley starting Thursday 9/29/22, and drying up by Sunday.
On Thursday, we may see some gusty wind as high as 28 mph. To put this into perspective, tropical storm wind speeds are 39-74 miles per hour. Thunderstorms and rainfall are expected for Friday and Saturday.
How does Easley respond to hurricanes and extreme weather?
The city is closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Ian heading for the Gulf Coast of Florida. As the hurricane makes landfall and moves up the coast it will likely cause some chaotic weather for most of the southeast.
Here in Easley, we may experience some extreme weather as a result and should take note of how the city will respond, and what steps we should take in a weather-related emergency.
Staying up to date about the accurate weather conditions is the first priority for Fire Chief Matthew Littleton, who also serves as Emergency Manager for the city of Easley.
Littleton, a lifelong Pickens County resident, has been Easley’s Fire Chief since 2020. He became the permanent replacement for the previous Fire Chief, now Mayor of Easley, Butch Womack.
All of the city’s weather information is sourced directly from the National Weather Service.
Will schools in Easley be closed due to Hurricane Ian?
Darian Byrd, the Director of Communications for the School District of Pickens County, sent out an email today saying that there are no changes to the school schedule. This could change if the forecast worsens.
The city activates the Emergency Operations Center only when the governor declares a state of emergency. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster held a briefing yesterday afternoon on Hurricane Ian to issue tropical storm watches across parts of the state, and declared a state of emergency.
You can view a video of the briefing from WYFF 4 below:
How will the city of Easley respond to emergencies during Hurricane Ian?
If conditions worsen in Easley as the hurricane makes landfall, Fire Chief Littleton will call in the City Operations Committee. This committee is a think tank for the city of Easley and includes the Fire Chief, the Police Chief, the Mayor, Public Works Director, Parks & Recreation Director, and several other key staff members.
The city actively works with those departments to respond to any calls and emergencies during the storm. Fire Chief Matthew Littleton, or an acting administrator, helps to coordinate all available public resources. His goal is to use the city’s tax dollars wisely, and as efficiently as possible.
3 things to do for a weather-related emergency in Easley
- Stay up to date on emergency information and alerts.
- Alerts & Announcements:
- Closings, Delays, and Parking Bans:
- Create or Update your Family Emergency Plan
- Fill out a Plan Form and email it to yourself as a PDF.
- Build and check your Disaster Supplies Kit.
- Visit ready.gov to learn more about how to be prepared for a hurricane.
- Contact the appropriate response services when necessary to help the city conserve resources.
- All serious or life-threatening emergencies: CALL 911
- Power outages: Report Online, or call 864-859-4013 for Combined Utilities
- Non-emergency police line: 864-859-4029
The Easley Citizen asked the Fire Chief what advice he had for the people of Easley, SC during Hurricane Ian. He stressed the importance of staying safe saying, “We like you just the way you are, so we want you to stay the way you are.”
This may be a good time for a couple of family game nights and movie marathons. Given we don’t lose power of course!
What should you do if your area experiences flooding in Easley?
Easley generally does a great job with sewer and drainage, but there is always a risk of flooding with heavy rainfall that we could experience from Hurricane Ian.
DO NOT try to walk or drive through flood water.
Residents are asked to stay home unless it’s an emergency when a flood advisory is in effect.
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