Orangeburg Co. braces for weather with the lessons from April

Orangeburg Co. braces for weather with the lessons from April

NEESES, S.C. (WIS) - The one-year anniversary of the fatal EF-3 tornado in Orangeburg is nearing, and the experience is top of mind for county leaders.

The April 2020 storm killed two people in the Neeses community and injured others.

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Emergency Services Director Billy Staley said communication with rural communities was a “gotcha moment” for the county, and something he’s been working to improve.

He said informing the community before the weather hits is crucial.

“Make sure you’re prepared for tomorrow. Have a plan. Have a communications plan for your family. Have a plan to be in a safe shelter, a safe sturdy structure tomorrow,” he said.

The WIS First Alert Weather Team is expecting severe storms on Thursday in the Midlands.

In preparation, Staley said he is having local first responders prepare their vehicles and maximize manpower.

Neeses area resident Andre Mavins said he wasn’t aware of the weather that was inbound but wasn’t going to take chances.

He said the April storm was too close for comfort.

“6 o’clock that morning getting ready to go to work, and just heard everything, sound like a (sic) freight train coming through. Busting out glass and knocked out the power. Got everyone into the restroom, huddled up, and rode it out,” he said.

You can track the weather both on-air or through the weather tab on this website.

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