GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Monday marks the official beginning of hurricane season 2020 and local emergency management wants Upstate residents to be prepared and have a plan.
The Climate Prediction Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, forecasts a busy season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
According to Jessica Stumpf, deputy director for Greenville County Emergency Management, the Upstate’s geographic proximity — or lack thereof — to the coast does not shield the area entirely from hurricane impacts.
“Even though we are way far inland from the coast, we still see impacts from tropical systems,” she said. “It’s not just the ones that hit our coast but the ones that come in from the Gulf of Mexico as well.”
For example, she says, the remnants of 2017’s Hurricane Nate spawned a tornado in Greenville County that caused damage.
More common impacts, though, are strong gusts of wind, heavy rain and accompanying flooding. These are more than enough reason to make a hurricane kit and have a plan.
For guidance on how to make a hurricane kit, click here.
Another impact to the Upstate from hurricanes that threaten the states’ Atlantic coast is evacuees. When coastal residents receive evacuation orders, they usually head inland.
Evacuees are encouraged to stay with family or friends in these situations. However, hurricane evacuation shelters often open as needed. The area has several shelters prepared to open. These shelters are rarely used, however, because coastal residents tend to find shelter farther East.
Stumpf encourages Upstate residents to have a plan for severe weather, hurricanes or otherwise. She recommends the South Carolina Emergency Manager App, which has features to check flood zones, evacuation routes, shelter information, emergency kit information and more.