Charleston Emergency Management re-evaluates flooding-safety procedures
By Stacy Jacobsonsjacobson@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Flash flooding killed two people in Greenville this weekend, according to authorities. The reality reminded Charleston officials of the worst of what could happen.
They're being more proactive in order to keep people safe, they said.
"This weekend presented some unique challenges with storms and high tide," said Mark Wilbert, Charleston's director of emergency management.
Saturday's rain and flooding led to several water rescues in downtown Charleston of people who tried to drive through standing water, officials said.
Wilbert said Charleston's constant risk of flooding gave way to a new policy.
"We were getting out in front of the event," he said.
The new policy included alert people about a day prior to the predicted bad weather.
ABC News 4 noticed the policy in action when police sent several email alerts about bad weather and expected high tides with associate times. Officials said they planned to also continue updating throughout bad weather via social media.
"We will reach out to the news media, print media, Twitter, the city's Facebook account and the city's website," Wilbert said.
In the aftermath of the storm, city crews worked on what they called a "rainy day schedule." On Fishburne Street, they vacuumed up about 20 gallons of water.
But with Charleston residents so used to flooding, officials can face challenges getting people to take it seriously.
"We do live on the peninsula, deal with tidal issues and the Southeast is dealing with a lot of rain. Put all that together and I guess you have life in Charleston," Wilbert said.
Officials said they would continue to increase communications to ensure their efforts weren't a wash.
They also reminded people never to try to drive through standing water, no matter how shallow it appears.You can visit Charleston's Twitter page by going to www.twitter.com/citycharleston.