Florence’s first punch gives city wet roads and power outages

By: Jael Pembrick - Staff writer

LAURINBURG — As Hurricane Florence continues to move inland, Director of Scotland Emergency Services Roylin Hammond wants residents to stay sheltered. He reports that the problem comes after the storm stops and people want to see the damage or get out of the city. They also do not know how deep the water is before they cross it.

“If we get 30 inches of rain, the last thing to do is drive through standing water,” said Hammond.

Hammond is in constant contact with the Department of Transportation and receives updates on flooded and blocked roads. He wants people to remember that water can be deadly and that history proves it.

“In Hurricane Floyd, we lost 56 people from standing water,” adds Hammond, “(During) Katrina, we lost thousands of people.”

Firefighter and emergency teams are already out, marking where fallen trees and power lines are. Many of them block roads throughout the city.

Hammond reports that teams are staged right outside of the county so when Florence is past, emergency services will rush right in. For now, he urges residents to stay put for the safety of the people and emergency personnel.

“We will not be able to respond to calls while the wind blows, especially around 40 mph,” said Hammond.

Friday morning, he ordered for more high water clearance vehicles from the National Guard and wants everyone to follow the famous mantra.

“Don’t drown, turn around,” said Hammond.

Jael Pembrick can be reached at 910-506-3169 or [email protected]

Jael Pembrick

Staff writer