Here comes another one. Michael is now a Category 2 Hurricane heading for the Florida panhandle. The projected storm path takes the center of the storm right through the Midlands in South Carolina. Strong winds and a few inches of rain are currently predicted to hit the Midlands on Thursday. There is a risk for some isolated tornadoes to develop in the Midlands region.
Hopefully, we will not have tornadoes and the storm will not cause any major flooding or damage. This is not yet an emergency situation; however, you can get the most up-to-date on storm developments at NWS Columbia and emergency information on the SCEMD site. They have information about roads, emergency plans and links to the latest information on the storm itself. They also have an emergency manager app for download that can help you prepare for any coming storm.
We are probably all used to this kind of weather here in South Carolina and what it means for driving safety. If there are any roads that flood we urge you to respect barricades and road closures and not attempt to drive through any unclosed flooded road. Remember, “don’t drown, turn around.”
AARP also wants to emphasize that driving in the heavy rain brings a risk of hydroplaning and losing control of your vehicle even at low speeds.
- Reduce your speed when driving in the rain.
- Avoid hitting puddles of standing water, especially at speeds above 30 mph.
- Check the tread on your tires and be sure that they are good to go. An easy way to do this is to place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and toward the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it's time to replace your tires.
Just in case an accident does occur, be prepared.
- Be sure that you have an emergency safety kit with road markers, flares, jumper cables, etc.
- Double check to see if you have some roadside assistance added to your insurance or through another type of provider