Director of Emergency Management Mark Wilbert addressed residents Saturday morning. The main message is one of public safety. “Now is not the time to be out and about. There is still a significant threat from high winds, flying debris and, as you know, we have significant flooding throughout the city,” Wilbert said.
Wilbert also said that crews will be out in the area as soon as it’s safe. They will be conducting surveys looking for damage and reporting it back to the response center.
PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew damage
Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen addressed public safety and urged residents to stay inside until crews can assess damages.
He explained, “We have our teams deployed in the various areas throughout the city. They are not only police, fire or security, safety and medical assistance, we also have our public service employees and parks department employees ready to go and clear roads.”
One of the key pieces of infrastructure impacted is the medical center. Access was restricted Friday night as the storm moved in, and it is still affected by high water. Along with the medical center, there are more than 100 other roads that are closed due to high water.
In addition to the current levels of water in the area, the 1:00 p.m. high tide will bring even more water into the Lowcountry, further complicating issues. As the tide begins to recede around 2:00 p.m., outflowing water will be swift and dangerous. Chief Mullen stressed that residents should stay inside and out of harm’s way.
Mayor Tecklenberg thanked all first responders, Governor Haley and area residents for taking the storm threat seriously and making the right decision to evacuate.
On a tour through Charleston Friday night before the storm hit, Mayor Tecklenberg said, “You think of Charleston always as being such a vibrant place, you know a lively place with stuff going on all the time, and it was a ghost town downtown last night. And it really gave me a sense of pride that our personnel had really done their job and that our citizens had listened. Many had evacuated and those who remained were safely in their homes.”