COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As Hurricane Irma churns closer to the U.S. east coast residents across the Palmetto State are taking more and more precautions to get ready.
Throughout the day on Thursday, traffic on interstates was heavy in the Columbia area as many drivers were making their way to the Upstate. Meanwhile several other people were also taking steps to get their homes stocked and prepared for the storm.
"You never know how the weather's gonna react and I just prefer to be prepared," shopper Hannah Easterling said.
The intense visuals of Irma's impact in the Caribbean also had some people making plans to protect their property. Several boat owners on Lake Murray say the intent to get their vessels off of the lake before the weekend is over.
"When the boats come back in Saturday night we're getting them out, putting them up on the hill, get them off trailers, getting all the tops down, making sure nothing gets damaged because right now we really don't know what to expect," Aquafun Boat Rentals and Tours owner Ken Jones said.
Columbia city officials also say that the massive hurricane should not wreak havoc on the city's water service. While the Columbia canal is still in the process of being completely repaired the dam at its head is still controlling water well.
"These bulkheads are going to protect our canal and we're gonna be able to limit the amount of water coming into the canal keeping the level low and at a level where we need it," said Columbia Water Department assistant manager Clint Shealy.
Only one of the 12 gates on the dam is open and the rest is protected by steel bulkheads to control the flow of water. Persistent rain and debris clogging the gates caused parts of the canal to breach during the October 2015 flood.