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Free COVID-19 testing will be offered in downtown Bennettsville tomorrow. To be tested, please enter the solicitor's office from Market Street.
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Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to make landfall around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.
During a Monday afternoon Zoom emergency response planning meeting, Marlboro County E911/Emergency Management Director Steve Akers said there was a question as to what part of South Carolina or the very southern coast of North Carolina is the storm expected to make landfall.
The storm may regain hurricane strength before making landfall. Two to four inches of rain is predicated with winds of around 35 mph with possible gusts of 50 mph.
"The ground is already fairly wet in Marlboro," Akers said. "Given that a good sustained wind of 35 mph will probably bring some trees down so we may have some power outages."
It was noted that the water in Crooked Creek and Pee Dee River was very low along with Lake Paul Wallace not being high.
Akers felt the county should be able to sustain three or four inches of rain relatively easy.
The arrival time of tropical winds is around 8 p.m. so Akers has planned to open the Emergency Operations Center at 6 p.m. It will include a representative from Bennettsville Police Department, Marlboro Sheriff's Office, Bennettsville Fire Department, Marlboro Emergency Medical Services, Marlboro County Fire, and City of Bennettsville Utilities.
"It is a lot better to have us in place should things happen than to try to herd us all back in here in the middle of 40 mph winds and driving rain," he said.
Akers added there were no plans to open a shelter here or statewide.
"This looks like something we can handle relatively well," he said.
Marlboro County Emergency Management officials are anticipating tropical storm-force winds arriving early Monday morning.
Steve Akers, director of Marlboro County E911/Emergency Management, said that the 11 a.m. advisory from the National Weather Service noted there was a westward shift with the center of the track offshore that may bring the storm closer to Marlboro County.
"The storm looks like it will be moving pretty quickly," said Akers during a Zoom Hurricane Isaias emergency response planning meeting. "Right now, they are predicting for our area, one and a half inches to four inches of rain."
The Emergency Operations Center will open at 8 a.m. Monday. It will include a representative from Bennettsville Fire Department, Bennettsville Police Department, Marlboro Sheriff's Office, Bennettsville Utilities, County Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
Akers said he will provide masks, hand sanitizer, and enough space to allow for social distancing.
A shelter will be opened as a last resort and are only opened to protect folks from flooding.
"We don't open shelters for wind," Akers said. "We don't open shelters for the power being out. It is only to take people from flood areas."
Officials are encouraging people to sign up for CODE RED, which is free and will allow people to receive emergency notifications in the county when sent by emergency management.
To sign up, visit https://www.onsolve.com/landing/sign-up-for-codered-emergency-alerts/.
Local officials are planning to monitor the storm through the weekend and hold additional Zoom meetings to discuss preparations.
Six new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Marlboro County on Sunday (June 21), according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
These cases put the number of cases at 267 in the county.
Eight new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Marlboro County on Saturday (June 20), according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
This put the number of cases in the county at 261.
Five new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Marlboro County on Saturday (June 14), according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
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