From staff reports
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division is monitoring Tropical Storm Elsa for potential impacts to our area.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center was projecting Elsa will develop into a hurricane before making landfall along the north Gulf Coast of Florida early Wednesday, July 7.
A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Beaufort County through Thursday morning, July 8.
The storm is expected to move northeast over Florida and Georgia and may reach Beaufort County by early Thursday.
Beaufort County residents and guests may see 3 to 5 inches of rain into Thursday, as well as tropical storm force winds between 39 and 57 mph, raising the potential for downed trees and power lines.
Low-lying areas, especially near the direct coast, may experience flooding.
The National Weather Service in Charleston issued a warning Tuesday morning of waterspouts off the South Carolina coast and urged boaters in the Port Royal Sound and Calibogue Sound, at the Savannah River Entrance, Fripp Island Reef and Fripp Island Wreck to seek safe harbor.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division recommends the following:
Bring in lawn furniture and other loose objects, such as garbage cans, that may become hazards in high winds.
Double check to make sure you have all emergency supplies listed in the South Carolina Hurricane Guide. Include items like hand sanitizer and face masks to guard against COVID-19.
Those along the coast may experience isolated power outages and should prepare keep your cell phones and mobile devices fully charged.
Have multiple ways to get emergency warnings for your area. Some options include Wireless Emergency Alerts on your mobile phone, NOAA Weather Radio, and CodeRED Emergency Notifications.
Also utilize the state’s new hurricane preparedness site, hurricane.sc.
Heed warnings issued by local public safety officials. When you hear an official alert, take safety precautions immediately.
If you are unable to remain in your home:
Residents who live in mobile homes or in low lying areas prone to flooding may need to consider staying elsewhere during the storm. Stay with friends and family as a first option. Go to a motel or hotel, if possible. Emergency shelters will open if necessary.
Be aware of potential flash flooding:
If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move.
Do not walk through moving water. Three to six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
Do not ever try to drive around or move barricades that are blocking a street.
Where to go for more information on Tropical Storm Elsa:
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office website: https:// bcso.net/
National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa. gov/
National Weather Service Charleston: https://www. weather.gov/chs/
S.C. Hurricane Guide: https://www.scemd. org/stay-informed/ publications/hurricane-guide/
S.C. hurricane preparedness site: hurricane.sc.