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News and Updates

Where to get up-to-date official information on Tropical Storm Florence as chances of impact increase.

As of this morning, forecasts indicate an increased likelihood of Tropical Storm Florence impacting the South Carolina Coast. The 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center indicates the storm was located 835 miles southeast of Bermuda with winds of 65 miles per hour moving west at 7 miles per hour. It storm is expected to re-strengthen to a hurricane tonight. The long-term track and potential impacts are still uncertain, however the storm is forecast to stay on the westward track over the next few days. Swells from Tropical Storm Florence are expected to arrive in Beaufort County this weekend. Swells can result in dangerous surf and rip currents, so we urge beach-goers and boaters to be mindful of these conditions and exercise caution. We also encourage everyone to monitor the storm through the National Hurricane Center https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ .

We encourage our residents and visitors to have an emergency plan in place and begin making preparations for their families, homes and businesses. Know where you will go in the event of an evacuation and know your evacuation route. Check emergency supply kits to make sure they are stocked and the following necessary items are included:

• Non-perishable food – at least a 3-day supply per person
• Drinking water – two gallons per person per day for at least 3 days, for drinking and sanitation
• Flashlights with extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Weather radio with extra batteries
• Non-electric can opener
• Necessary medications and prescriptions
• Needed supplies for any children
• Needed supplies for any pets
• Important documents (insurance policies, property deeds, photo ID, tax records, bank information, etc.)
• Toiletries and other personal hygiene/sanitation items
• Cash
• Cell phone and chargers

The Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division produced an informative video detailing the importance of early preparedness and how to stay connected with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office for reliable and up-to-date information. You can view the hurricane preparedness video on our YouTube Channel at https://youtu.be/ASk5S47awUw .

Where to get up-to-date information in the event of a hurricane

As Tropical Strom Florence approaches, we will use several platforms to ensure our residents and guests are able to obtain up-to-date official information. We primarily communicate with the public via e-mail and text through our NIXLE alert and advisory system, which links to social media site Facebook. NIXLE is also the platform we will use to coordinate between governmental and public utility entities in advance of a message being released to the public. We ask you to please sign up for NIXLE https://local.nixle.com/accounts/login/ to receive up-to-date information from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Photographs and videos taken by deputy sheriffs, other first responders and public information staff of the storm’s impact will be posted for you to view on DropEvent and YouTube. The link to access our DropEvent photograph folders https://www.dropevent.com/gallery/BeaufortCountySO and videos on our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuYi6DuzHAh2kKQ7OnumCgg will be sent via e-mail and text through NIXLE and also posted on the following sites:
1. Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office website: http://www.bcso.net/
2. Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BeaufortCoSO/
3. Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Twitter accounts: https://twitter.com/bcsopio
4. Nextdoor https://nextdoor.com/agency-detail/sc/beaufort/beaufort-county-sheriffs-office-2/
In addition, we have added an alert link (Emergencies/Natural Disasters) to our website http://www.bcso.net/ , where those who have not subscribed to NIXLE can access the same reliable information. The alert link (Emergencies/Natural Disasters) is located at the top left of our website.

In the event of an emergency or natural disaster, please look to your county and local government officials, along with trusted print, radio and television media as your sources of information and instruction. We urge you to avoid information spread through social media, unless disseminated by one of the trusted sources.

Thank you for your partnership and continued commitment to the safety of our community.

Advisory: Curfew for Barrier Islands is over and will not be extended. Welcome back Beaufort County residents and guests.

For Hilton Head, Daufuskie, Harbour, Hunting and Fripp Islands that were, but are no longer, under the Governor’s evacuation order, the curfew is over and will not be extended. The Sheriff’s Office charging trailer to charge your mobile devices will be at the St. Helena Elementary School from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM today and later this afternoon at the intersection of US 21 and Sams Point Road (former Publix parking lot) on Lady’s Island from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM. Reentry messages will be kept up-to-date on the Beaufort County Hurricane Hotline 1-800-963-5023.

For full details, view this message on the web.

Advisory: Governor McMaster lifts evacuation for Beaufort County barrier islands. Restricted access to Harbour Island causeway.

This morning South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster lifted the evacuation order for the barrier islands of Beaufort County: Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island, Harbour Island, Hunting Island and Fripp Island. There is damage to the causeway/roadway on the north end of the Harbour Island bridge, which will result in temporary restricted access to Harbour, Hunting and Fripp Islands. A roadblock is in place while South Carolina Department of Transportation officials inspect and repair the damage. Only those with Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division issued reentry passes and residents with identification indicating they do live on Harbour, Hunting and Fripp Islands will be allowed entry. Overall conditions in Beaufort County are good. Our thoughts are with you and others impacted by Hurricane Irma throughout the Southeast. Thank you for your continued patience; we l ook forward to the return of our residents and guests.

For full details, view this message on the web

Advisory: Hurricane Irma Update: Jasper County Shelter Open for Beaufort County Evacuees. Tidal surge already being reported.

Beaufort County is officially under a hurricane watch, to include a storm surge watch, as of 11:00 AM, which means hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge inundation are possible within the next 48 hours. There has been some confusion about shelters available for Beaufort County residents and guests evacuating the barrier islands. The Red Cross opened a shelter in Jasper County at 10:00 AM this morning to accommodate evacuees Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School located at 25 0 Jaguar Trail, in Ridgeland. Two Red Cross shelters will be available in Beaufort County on Sunday at 9:00 AM. Those shelters are the Bluffton High School located at 12 H. E. McCracken Drive in Bluffton and Battery Creek High School located at 1 Blue Dolphin Drive in Burton.

A mandatory evacuation order has been in effect for the barrier islands of Beaufort County started at 10:00 AM this morning, September 9, 2017. Beaufort County barrier islands under the mandatory evacuation order are Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island, Harbour Island, Hunting Island and Fripp Island. At 10:00 AM this morning road blocks were put in place and residents and guests will no longer be allowed access to the affected barrier islands, until the evacuation order is lifted. Only first responders, along with medical, water, utility and  those with critical needs identified and  approved through Sherff’s Office Emergency Management are being allowed access.

Also as of this morning a coastal flood advisory was issued for Beaufort County between the hours of 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM with high tides and salt water inundation possible in low-lying areas. We would like to take this opportunity to remind our residents and guests again that storm surge and wind are possible in low-lying areas throughout Beaufort County, even those areas not under mandatory evacuation. Please limit your driving to only that which is necessary to avoid possible flooding and to allow ease of travel to those evacuating. Beaufort County residents and guests are encouraged to keep up-to-date with the storm through the National Weather Service Charleston http://www.weather.gov/chs/  Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management continues to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and additional information will be released as  soon as it becomes available.  Thank you for your patience.
For full details, view this message on the web.

Advisory: Hurricane Irma Update: Barrier Island Evacuation Shelter Updates

At last night’s press conference Governor McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation order for the barrier islands in Beaufort County starting at 10:00 AM this morning, September 9, 2017. Beaufort County barrier islands under the mandatory evacuation order are Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island, Harbour Island, Hunting Island and Fripp Island. As of 10:00 AM this morning road blocks will be in place and residents and guests will no longe r be able to enter the affected barrier islands, until the evacuation order is lifted.

The Red Cross will have a shelter open in Jasper County at 10:00 AM on SATURDAY morning for all evacuating citizens which is located at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School (250 Jaguar Trail, Ridgeland).

Two shelters will be available within Beaufort County on SUNDAY at 9:00 AM. Those shelters will be: Bluffton High School located at 12 H. E. McCracken Drive in Bluffton and Battery Creek High School located at 1 Blue Dolphin Drive in Burton.

Beaufort County residents and guests are encouraged to keep up-to-date with the storm through the National Weather Service Charleston http://www.weather.gov/chs/
Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management continues to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and additional information will be released later this morning. Thank you for your patience.

For full details, view this message on the web.