Ahead of the worst of the weather impact from Hurricane Irma, expected to hit Pickens County around 5 p.m. today, Monday, Sept. 11th, emergency crews are preparing for high winds, downed trees, power outages and minor flooding.
“The worst of it will happen between 5 and 11 tonight,” said Pickens County EMA Director John Nicholson. “We are asking that people be where they’re going to be by five and shelter in.”
Nicholson said predictions for this area are for sustained winds of 35 m.p.h. and gusts up to 45 m.p.h. During that same time period two inches of rain are expected.
“We got downgraded a little on the rain,” he said, “and at this point the likelihood of a tornado is low because of the cooler weather.”
While the worst of Irma has yet to hit the county, at Monday around noon there were already 622 Pickens residents without power.
“There were some winds in the Big Canoe area and areas in east of the county,” Nicholson said.
Many government offices including the courthouse closed at noon today. Pickens County schools are closed both Monday and Tuesday.
The county has opened a pre-storm shelter at the Pickens County Administration Building’s lower level for anyone who would like refuge from possible inclement weather.
The Progress is going to print a day early, on Monday rather than Tuesday, in case of possible power outages. The deadline for all articles and ads for this week's edition is Monday.