Emergency management encourages preparedness


Sumter County Emergency Management Director Erik Hayes said although the path of Hurricane Irma is still uncertain at this time, the city and county government as well as local first-responder agencies are working together to prepare for potential heavy rain and wind.

Hurricane Irma is not expected to bring the same amount of rain as Hurricane Harvey which stalled over Texas before dissolving, he said.

According to the latest update from the National Weather Service, high winds and 4 to 6 inches of rain are expected in the area between Monday and early Tuesday.

There may be localized flooding in areas that normally flood during heavy thunderstorms, Hayes said.

He said he encourages everyone to prepare supplies to last for at least three days in case roads are blocked or there are power outages after the hurricane.

With any hurricane, you can expect for some trees and power lines to be blown down, he said.

When the storm reaches our area, please do not go outside unless you need to leave for safety, Hayes said. And be prepared for possible power outages, he said.

Hayes said no shelters have opened yet, but officials are preparing to make that call if needed. He said messages about shelters will be posted on social media as well as disseminated to news outlets.

He said local officials are also paying attention to evacuation orders for people living in other states and along the coast because they could stop in Sumter.

Hayes said residents can monitor the hurricane on National Weather Service's website at or National Hurricane Center's website at