Getting prepared

Loris Fire Department Volunteers did a joint training session before Dorian with Loris Police Department. This time on LPD’s alternative rescue (High-water / 4x4) trucks in preparation of Hurricane Dorian and other potential disasters. Both teams if needed would have worked together to rescue area citizens.

After the damage caused by tropical systems in Loris in recent years, Loris residents and city officials made sure things were ready for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian last week.

Fortunately, the city was spared any major damage as the hurricane passed to the east of Loris and stayed just off the coast until it made a landfall in the Outerbanks of North Carolina.

According to the National Weather Service, Loris and nearby areas picked up 5-6 inches of rain from the hurricane.

“We had no serious flooding problems whatsoever,” Mayor Todd Harrelson said Friday, the day after Dorian skirted the city.

The winds did cause some scattered roof damage and there were some downed trees, he said.

“We worked very very hard on our ditches and our culverts and pipes,” Harrelson said. “The guys worked into the night many nights in advance. And, right on up until dark the night of the storm.”

Flood prevention is something the city has been focused on for many months. A hydrology study was conducted to help determine what areas need the most attention. One of those areas is Forest Drive.

The job of replacing 18-inch pipe with 24-inch pipe in that area began in late August. The job is being done by Chris Holmes Construction Company.

That will help move water faster than in the past. When there is very heavy rain, some areas may still flood but the water is expected to move out of the area much faster once the rain subsides.

Precautions taken

As the storm approached, Loris City offices closed at noon Wednesday, Sept. 4. However, the city’s Emergency Operations Center was fully staffed.

A curfew was put into place for 12 hours beginning at 7 p.m. Sept. 5.

Residents were warned of the curfew by a loud siren from the public safety building that lasted about one minute.

The Loris City Council meeting that was supposed to take place Sept. 3 was rescheduled to Sept. 10.

“I think the workers did a fantastic job. All the department heads met daily for the briefings and the rest of the staff, including the police and fire chiefs, were on the job all night,” Harrelson said. “Everybody worked together.”

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