Sumter Police Department: Finish preparations for Tropical Storm Florence, stay inside


As wind speeds continue to pick up, the Sumter Police Department is urging residents to wrap up last-minute preparations and return to shelter.

“They are on our doorstep,” said lead detective John Melton about the winds in a video posted to Facebook.

Residents should also prepare for potentially heavy rains and power outages, he said.

As Tropical Storm Florence moves further inland, residents are more likely to experience outages, which will also affect traffic signals.

If traffic signals do lose power, Staff. Sgt. Robert Singleton said to treat those intersections as four-way stops. 

If power has been restored to an intersection, the lights will flash, he said. 

Yellow lights mean to proceed through the intersection with caution, and red lights mean to stop and yield to the other lane of traffic, Singleton said.

The police department also wants residents to limit cell phone calls to save phone batteries in case of power outages and to keep cell towers clear for emergency calls. 

For non-emergency calls, dial (803) 436-2700. 

Lead Cpl. Mikeal Jennings said residents should stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary and to avoid standing water. 

Heavy rains are expected to cause localized flooding, which will lead to road closures in some areas. 

If there are cones or barricades blocking a road, do not attempt to go around them, Singleton said. 

“They are there for your safety,” he said. 

Residents are also asked to call to check on elderly and disabled neighbors, especially those who live alone and have no family members in the area, when it is safe and possible to do so. 

Those who need to find shelter should go to Sumter High School, 2580 McCrays Mill Road, or Mayewood Middle School, 4300 E. Brewington Road, which are both set up as emergency shelters operated by American Red Cross and S.C. Department of Social Services. 

However, no pets are allowed at either shelter. 

In case of an emergency, call 911.