Tropical storm warning still in effect; transportation to shelter ends 8 p.m. Sunday
The effects of Hurricane Irma are getting closer to Jasper County. The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning for the area, with peak winds possible of 30 to 40 miles per hour and wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour.
Strong tropical storm-force winds (58 to 73 MPH) could hit the entire county late Sunday night into Monday morning.
Here are some key points from the 6 p.m. press conference held by Jasper County Fire-Rescue Public Information Office Richard Manning Hughes:
- A storm surge expects to be 4 to 6 feet, peaking between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday.
- Rain could be 6 to 8 inches, with 3 to 6 inches in northeast Jasper County.
- There’s a moderate tornado risk, starting at 4 a.m. Monday.
- Tropical storm-force conditions are possible around 4 a.m. Monday in the Levy area.
- Damage to trees and power lines are expected.
- Mandatory evacuations remain for the Knowles Island and Tullifiny River basin areas, but the county “encourages” citizens east of Hwy. 170 in Jasper County to leave because of flooding concerns.
- Transportation to the shelter at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High ends at 8 p.m. Sunday. The shelter is open 24 hours, but transportation won’t be provided tomorrow because of safety issues due to the storm. (If you need a ride, see a list of transportation sites below)
- There’s about 220 people at the shelter.
- Cots are now being provided at the shelter. However, people are encouraged to bring their own pillows, blankets, etc.
- Speedway Blvd (U.S. 17) is closed from Alligator Alley (S.C. 170) south, including the intersection at South Okatie Hwy. (S.C. 315) and Speedway Blvd., across the Talmadge Bridge to Savannah until a time to be determined.
- For non-emergencies, call 843-726-4421.
If you don’t evacuate, the county advises to stay inside.
“Stay indoors, getting out in the environment could be very, very dangerous,” Hughes said. “Stay on higher ground.”
- Transportation to shelter locations:
• Levy Volunteer Fire Department Station 25, 2721 Levy Rd
• Levy Volunteer Fire Department Station 20, 3677 Bellinger Hill Rd
• Jasper County Fire-Rescue Station 32 (Roseland), 4030 Coosawscenic Dr.
• Jasper County Fire-Rescue Station 33 (Point South), 630 Campground Rd .
• Hardeeville Fire Department Station 81, 21 Martin St.
• Hardeeville Fire Department Station 82, 2539 Argent Blvd.