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Hurricane Joaquin Spares Much of the East Coast but Brings Widespread Flooding

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Hurricane Joaquin has continued to take a northeastern track, sparing the East Coast. While the threat is dissipating, much of the Southeast is experiencing severe flooding as a result of tropical moisture feeding a low pressure system along the coast. The National Weather Service expects rain and flooding to continue across the Southeast.

 FEMA has reported the following impacts:

  • Widespread flooding and flash floods
  • Numerous interstates, local & states roads, and bridges impacted
  • Four confirmed storm-related facilities (1 in North Carolina & 3 in South Carolina); 1 injury reported in North Carolina
  • South Carolina: 26 open shelters with 903 occupants (per South Carolina Emergency Operations Center, American Red Cross National Shelter System is reporting 31 shelters with 198 occupants)
  • North Carolina: 5 open shelters with 20 occupants (ARC Midnight Shelter as of 7:00 am EDT)
  • As of 3:00 am EDT, 21K customers without power in South Carolina; 34K customers without power in North Carolina
  • Hundreds of people evacuated statewide in South Carolina
  • Aerial & swift water rescues being conducted; media reporting over 200 rescues
  • City of Columbia could be without water service for 3-4 days
  • Local hospitals planning possible patient evacuation due to lack of water
  • School / local government closures; 13 county governments closed, 5 delayed opening; 79 schools and school systems closed, 2 delayed (including Colleges Technical, Private); University of South Carolina is closed 

To stay safe during a flood consider the following precautions recommended by the National Weather Service:

  • Monitor local radio and television (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding and get to higher ground immediately
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock the building as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.
  • Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help.
  • Do not drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards (i.e. sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc.). A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds. Twelve inches of water can float a car or a small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

Download the Flood Emergency Response Planning bulletin and contact your HUB risk manager to ensure you're prepared for the storm's aftermath.