Colleton County Fire-Rescue


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                            DATE: September 3, 2019

Media Contact: Meagan Utsey, Public Information Officer

Phone Numbers:             843-782-0502

843-549-5632 (Emergency Operations Center)


Hurricane Dorian Ė Monday, September 3rd Update

Colleton County is now at Operational Condition Level One.  OPCON 1 means a disaster or emergency is imminent.  The County Emergency Operations Center is fully activated.

Due to the approach of Hurricane Dorian, Governor McMaster has ordered an evacuation of many South Carolina coastal areas, including Zones A and B in Colleton County.  Colleton County residents in these `zones must evacuate in compliance with the Governorís order.  Please see below for more details.

There is an increasing risk for significant impacts in our area.  Tornadoes are possible tonight, and into tomorrow morning.  There will be more significant effects between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning, including four to seven feet of water inundation in evacuation zones and tropical storm force winds. 

Colleton County Fire-Rescue and the Colleton County Sheriffís Office has brought in additional personnel in preparation for Hurricane Dorian.  This is a very dangerous storm.  The eye is predicted to come within 50 miles of our coast, with tropical storm force winds extending 100 miles inland, affecting all of Colleton County.

If you live in Evacuation Zone A or B, it is important that you evacuate as directed by Governor McMaster because Fire-Rescue may not be able to reach you quickly during or after the storm.  If you do not have the option of staying with friends or family outside of the evacuation zone, the evacuation shelter is open at the Colleton County High School at 150 Cougar Nation Drive.

Summary of Important Information from Previous Updates:

The following will be closed until further notice:

         Colleton County Government Offices

         City of Walterboro Government Offices

         State offices in Colleton County

         Colleton County Schools

         Colleton Preparatory Academy

         USC Salkehatchie East Campus

         Lowcountry EMS Council Offices

Colleton County sandbag operations will continue at Fire-Rescue Headquarters, located at 113 Mable T. Willis Boulevard, on September 2nd and September 3rd from 8:00 an until 5:00 pm. Residents will be responsible for filling and loading their sandbags. 

Colleton County will open all Colleton County Solid Waste Convenience Sites including the landfill on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm in order for citizens to dispose of their waste prior to the storm.

Colleton County Animal Services and the Colleton County Animal Response Team (CCART) are now offering a co-shelter for dogs and cats for those who will seek shelter at the American Red Cross shelter located at Colleton County High School (150 Cougar Nation Drive) in Walterboro, SC. For more information, please see below.

If you have any questions or if you need transportation to the evacuation shelter, please contact the Countyís Emergency Operations Center at (843) 549-5632.  For pick-up locations, please see below.

Additional information can be found below.

Additional information:

Zone A consists of anyone living south of the CSX railroad tracks in the southern portion of Colleton County and includes the communities of Edisto Beach/Island, Jacksonboro, Green Pond, Bennetts Point, Wiggins, White Hall areas (between the CSX railroad and Ace Basin Parkway / U.S. Highway 17) the Bonnie Doone and Maybank/Prices Bridge communities.  Zone B consists of areas south of Cottageville Hwy (U.S. 17-Alternate) from the Dorchester County line to Walterboro, south of South Jefferies Blvd, and west of Interstate 95 to the Hampton County line and includes anyone living along the Combahee, Ashepoo and Edisto Rivers that are subject to be inaccessible due to storm surge flooding.

The map below illustrates Evacuation Zones A and B:

If you are unsure of your homeís location, you can go to the following website from any computer or smartphone: .  In the top left corner of the map, there is a place to type your address and the map will display your homeís location.  If it does not appear in an area shaded yellow or red, then you are not in an evacuation zone. 

It is essential and perhaps even a matter of life and death that you comply with the Governorís evacuation order.  If you do not evacuate and have a medical emergency during the storm (traumatic injury, heart attack, stroke, etc.), the closest ambulance may not be able to reach you as they too will be evacuated prior to the stormís arrival.  In addition to not having access to emergency services, failing to evacuate could also cost you your life and the lives of your family due to the stormís rain, wind, and potential tornadoes.  If you live in an area that has been ordered to evacuate, you must follow the Governorís order and evacuate now.

Before you leave your home, you should:

        Know where you will go.

        Make arrangements for pets. 

        Turn off gas, electricity, and water.

        Stay tuned to your local television and radio stations for emergency information.

        Charge your cell phone and mobile devices.  (Have an extra charger for your phone, etc.).

        Leave early.  Take your time.

The emergency evacuation shelter at Colleton County High School (150 Cougar Nation Drive, Walterboro, SC 29488) will open on September 2, 2019 at 12:00 noon.  Before heading to the evacuation shelter, first consider staying with family and friends or in a hotel out of the evacuated area as the shelter will lack many of the comforts of home.  If those options are unavailable, the evacuation shelter will be a safe place to stay when you have no other place to go.  Cots and blankets may only be provided in the evacuation shelter after hurricane conditions subside.  Although some food may be provided, specialty items for infants and individuals on restricted diets may not be available.  Pets, other than service animals, are not allowed in the shelter.  Arrangements can be made for your pets if you take them to shelter to be housed in another building on the property; however, you must provide proof of rabies vaccination for each pet and the pet shelter is filled on a first come, first served basis.

During declared emergency evacuations, all citizens with medical conditions that are treated by electricity-dependent medical equipment are encouraged to evacuate until it is safe to return to their home. However, if you, a family member, or a friend use electrically-dependent medical equipment, it may be possible to be admitted to the Special Medical Needs Shelter. It is important to note that wheelchair-bound persons and those that are on home oxygen do not necessarily qualify for admittance to the Special Medical Needs Shelter.  Additionally, if they do qualify for admittance but cannot manage their own medical care, a caregiver must remain with them in the Special Medical Needs Shelter for the duration of their stay. To find out who qualifies for admittance and stay at the Special Medical Needs Shelter, please contact the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control Care Line at 855-472-3432, beginning at 8:00 am on Monday, September 2, 2019. 

If you plan to evacuate to a shelter or you are planning on evacuating out of the county, you will want to carry the following supplies: 

        South Carolina Hurricane Guide

        Flashlight(s) with extra batteries

        Portable radio with extra batteries

        Mobile device chargers

        NOAA Weather Radio

        Non-perishable food for at least 3 days

        Bedding and clothing for each family member

        Blankets and towels

        Plastic dishes/eating utensils

        Rain jackets/pants

        Sunscreen/sunglasses/mosquito repellent

        Baby supplies (food, diapers, medications)

        Toothbrush, toothpaste

        Soap, shampoo and other personal hygiene items

        Driverís license, Social Security card, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records/proof of residence (particularly important for those who plan to access residences that are not their primary Ė vacation homes, rentals, etc.), medical records, family pictures, etc.

        Cash, enough to fill up your vehicle with fuel

        Sanitary supplies

        First Aid Kit

        Any prescription medications

        Bottled water (2 gallons per person per day)

        Pet supplies (food, leash & carrier, vaccination records)

        Blankets, sleeping bags, pillows and cots (if evacuating to a shelter)

        Special foods, if you are on a restricted diet (if evacuating to a shelter)

During an evacuation, pay attention to emergency alerts via media and road signs for information about the nearest open shelter in case you need it.

Colleton County Animal Services and the Colleton County Animal Response Team (CCART) are now offering a co-shelter for dogs and cats for those who will seek shelter at the American Red Cross shelter located at Colleton County High School (150 Cougar Nation Drive) in Walterboro, SC. For the safety of all pets, we will not accept reptiles and pocket pets.  Services will be provided first come, first served and as long as space allows. Pet owners coming to the shelter should check in first with the human shelter staff, then proceed to the co-shelter. The co-shelter is located next to the tennis courts at the high school. Pet owners should bring the following items:

         Rabies certificate

         Food for 3 days (labeled with last name and pet name)

         Collar and leash for dogs

         Medications (labeled with last name and pet name)

         Optional - a blanket or object that will comfort the pet - no toys if your dog is a chewer!

If you have any questions or if you need transportation to the evacuation shelter, please contact the Countyís Emergency Operations Center at (843) 549-5632.  For pick-up locations, please see below.

Pickup locations for transportation to the evacuation shelter:

         Bells Elementary School

         Cottageville Elementary School

         Hendersonville Elementary School

         Jacksonboro Baptist Church

         Mt. Nebo Baptist Church in Jonesville