Union county closes schools, preps for storm


UNION COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – In Union County, emergency crews there are preparing for tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Michael.

This comes weeks after a woman was killed in Union County because of winds from Tropical Storm Florence. 

Schools are closed Thursday because district leaders said school buses would not be safe on the roads. 

“I’m glad they’re being safe,” said 11 year old Travis Gibson. “But that’s more days we have to make up.”

His grandfather Terry Burris said he felt the decision was made a bit too soon. 

“I think it’s a little premature you know because of the way we’re situated in the Upstate,” said Burris. 

It’s because of forecasted conditions emergency leaders said certainly are not normal for the Upstate. However,  the south and eastern parts of the upsate are expecting tropical storm force conditions from Hurricane Michael so Union County leaders said they wanted to be on the safe side.

“Don’t want school busses on the road with tropical force winds – you might have an issue of the school bus tipping over,” said Union County Emergency Management Director Rob Fraim, adding it’s a decision that could not wait until the morning. “Most school buses get out 4:30 5 o clock in the morning to start picking up students. that would be unsafe for the bus driver,” said Fraim. “Wind is concerning. of course if it gets up it could knock trees down and power lines down.”

“In speaking with Emergency Management and Law Enforcement we felt that it was in our best interest to not have school tomorrow.  With winds projected to be 39 MPH at 7am on Thursday and will potentially have gusts of up to 60 MPH throughout the day.  Our District Mission Statement states “Students First” and we try to hold true to that with everything we do, even inclement weather,” said Union County School District Superintendent Dr. William Roach in a statement to 7News. 

Fraim said one area of concern is the Town of Lockhart because the low lying region could be prone to flooding. 

They’re urging folks to stay off the roads as the area braces for whatever comes their way.

“I’m glad they’re taking precautions to protect these children you know,” said Burris. “I really pray it’s not going to be as bad as they predicted.”

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