The latest: Tropical Storm Michael making its mark in Sumter (PHOTOS)


Sumter residents woke Thursday morning to rain and increasing wind as what is now Tropical Storm Michael heads into South Carolina. Here is the latest information you need to know about the storm and its impact on the Sumter, Lee and Clarendon tri-county area.


3 p.m.

Sumter County Recreation and Parks Department's gymnasium has closed as a shelter, as has the Sumter County Emergency Operations Center.

Sumter County Emergency Management staff have spoken with both Black River Electric Cooperative and Duke Energy Progress, and they have extra trucks in the area to continue to work to restore remaining outages.



The worst of Michael’s impact on Sumter and the surrounding area has passed as it gets ready to enter North Carolina.

While it dumped heavy rain and tropical storm-force winds on Sumter, the impacts were nothing like the northeastern portion of the state saw in Florence or what Michael inflicted upon the Florida Panhandle.

Personnel from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Department of Transportation, Sumter Police Department and Sumter public works were out throughout the county Thursday late morning to clear trees from roadways and limbs from power lines.

There are lights out around the county, so drivers should use caution on the road. Better yet, residents should remain home still if they don’t have to be out so first responders and linemen can have a clearer path.

Treat a stop light that is off as a four-way stop. If your light is flashing yellow, proceed with caution. If it is flashing red, treat it as a stop sign and give right-of-way to the yellow flashing lights.

Shaw Air Force Base recorded 38-mph wind at 11:56 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.


11:20 a.m.

As of 11 a.m., Black River Electric Cooperative reported 1,851 customer outages across its four-county service area. Of that total, 1,397 outages were in Sumter County.

Duke Energy Progress reported 8,213 customer outages in Sumter County, as of 11 a.m.


10:40 a.m.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, Sumter County Emergency Management officials said no injuries and no major incidents have been reported yet in the county from the tropical storm as it moves through the Midlands.

The county did open its Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday, according to Eric Hayes, Emergency Management director, and officials also opened one shelter Wednesday night at the Sumter County Recreation Center. 

Total residents staying at the shelter reached 27 at one point overnight, but was down to 23 this morning, according to Donna Dew, executive secretary of Sumter County Emergency Management.

Dew said overnight only a few residents called into Emergency Management with concerns.

As winds have picked up since 7 a.m. this morning, more residents have called in. Those calls have been generally related to downed trees and limbs across roads and driveways.

She described those wind gusts as “coming in spurts.”

No tornadoes associated with the tropical storm had been reported as of 10 a.m.

Dew and Hayes said they expect the storm to move quickly through the area this morning and be done by the early afternoon as it moves out of the area.

“It looks like it’s getting out of here pretty fast,” Dew said, “and that’s what we want.”

(By Bruce Mills)


10:10 a.m.

There are 43,196 power outages being reported by the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, including 2,531 in Sumter who get their power from Black River Electric Cooperative.

Clarendon County has 1,027 customers without power, including 660 from Santee Electric Cooperative and 367 from BREC.

Duke Energy is reporting 30,722 customers in the Carolinas are without power, including 7,990 of the more than 31,000 Duke Energy customers in Sumter County


9:15 a.m.

Authorities are correcting early reports about the death of an 11-year-old girl as Hurricane Michael blew over southwest Georgia.

Seminole County Emergency Management Agency director Travis Brooks said it wasn't a tree but a carport that hit her home and killed her.

He said strong winds picked up a portable carport Wednesday and dropped it down on the roof. One of the carport's legs punctured the roof and hit the 11-year-old girl in the head.

Brooks said he wasn't able to get out much overnight to fully assess the damage in the county, because downed power lines and trees made roads impassable in the darkness. But he said the sheriff told him it looked like a bomb had gone off.

(From The Associated Press)


8 a.m.

There are currently 2,298 Duke Energy customers in Sumter County without power. Duke serves a total of 31,423 customers in the county.

Duke has a total of 21,531 customers without power.

The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina is reporting a total of 29,092 outages throughout the state, the most being within a triangle of Augusta to Columbia to Charleston.

Sumter-based Black River Electric Cooperative is only reporting 62 outages in the county.

Clarendon County has 537 outages, including 467 from Santee Electric Cooperative and 70 from BREC.


7:29 a.m.

There is a flood advisory in effect until 9:30 a.m. The National Weather Service in Columbia issued to advisory for Fairfield County, southwestern Lancaster County, Lee County, northwestern Sumter County, Kershaw County and northeastern Richland County.

Doppler radar indicated heavy rain may cause minor flooding in the advisory area with 1 to 2 inches of rain having already fallen and an additional 1 to 2 inches possible over the next couple hours.

Some locations that may experience flooding include: Sumter, Lancaster, Camden, Winnsboro, Bishopville, South Sumter, Kershaw, Elgin, Heath Springs, Lugoff, Irwin, Oakland, Mulberry, Millwood, Blythewood, Bethune, Ridgeway, Cane Savannah, Dalzell and Wedgewood, according to the advisory.


6:56 a.m.

According to the National Weather Service, Shaw Air Force Base is recording southeasterly winds at 33 mph.


5 a.m.

With maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, the storm is heading northeast at 21 mph. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles, mainly to the southeast of the center.

Michael pass into southwestern Georgia as a Category 3 on Wednesday evening, the strongest to hit that part of the state in recorded history, according to The Associated Press. Maximum sustained winds of 115 mph were recorded in Seminole County, Georgia, Wednesday evening.


2 a.m.

(From The Associated Press)

An official with an emergency management agency says Tropical Storm Michael is responsible for a child's death in Georgia.

News outlets report Seminole County Emergency Management Agency Director Travis Brooks says someone called 911 as the storm passed through the area and reported the death. WMAZ-TV quotes Brooks as saying a tree fell onto a home Wednesday afternoon and killed an 11-year-old girl. Authorities have not released her identity.

Brooks says responding crews reached the home after nightfall due to clear downed power lines, poles and trees.

Early Thursday, the eye of Michael was about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Macon in central Georgia. The storm had top sustained winds of 60 mph (96 kph) and was moving to the northeast at 20 mph (32 kph).

The National Hurricane Center says the core of Michael will move across central and eastern Georgia Thursday morning, and then over southern and central South Carolina later in the day.