Shelters won’t open here

A shelter sign

6:35 p.m. Sunday update

No evacuation shelters will be open in Columbus County for Tropical Storm Isaias.
Emergency Management Director Kay Worley said Sunday (today) that shelters will not be opened, due to the difficulties of maintaining social distancing during the pandemic.
Worley had warned last week that if shelters opened, numbers would be strictly reduced to prevent overcrowding.
Because of the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus, officials decided Sunday not to open shelters at all.
The county usually runs five emergency shelters during hurricanes, including a pet friendly facility in Whiteville. Officials said the restrictions caused by the pandemic, and new regulations from the American Red Cross, led to the decision not to offer the shelters this time.
Isaias is expected to come ashore in South Carolina as a strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane Monday, then pass along a line below Lake Waccamaw during the overnight hours. The slight eastward shift noted Sunday will bring four to six inches of rain to much of the county, but more could fall in some areas.
Worley said the county’s emergency operations center is monitoring the storm.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at