Watch: Officials Kick-Off Severe Weather and Flood Safety Awareness Week

Columbia , S.C. (WOLO) — This week is Severe Weather and Flood Safety Awareness week in South Carolina. Following October’s historic floods, officials are learning from the experience and reminding residents to have a plan in place should severe weather strike any time in the next few months.

“We know severe weather can happen here in South Carolina,” said Major General Robert Livingston.

Following October’s historic floods, the grounds of South Carolina still remain saturated.
“Any rain that we do have does accentuate the conditions and certainly we don’t have any reservoirs to fill up,” explained General Livingston.
General Livingston said in the event of another severe rain storm, South Carolinians need to have a plan ahead of time and adhere to all advisories and warnings put out by emergency officials.
“Those who did not drive around the barricades, those who stayed home during the floods, they were safe,” said General Livingston about those who listened to advisories during October’s floods.
Severe rain and thunderstorms are not the only weather threat residents need to be aware of, Leonard Vaughan with the National Weather Service said last year 7 tornadoes hit the Palmetto State causing 2 injuries and nearly $2 million in damage.
 “It doesn’t take a lot of severe weather to cause injuries, possibly fatalities and a lot of damage,” said Vaughan.
Officials said in the event of a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch advisory, residents need to stay alert, seek indoor shelter on the lowest level and at the center of the building.
 “You want to be in an interior room, like a bathroom or closet,” said Vaughan. “You don’t want to be somewhere near windows where something can be blown through or come crashing through a window.”
The National Weather Service will conduct a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday morning at 9 am.
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