News Flash


Posted on: September 12, 2018

Weather Update: Hurricane Florence Now Tropical Depression

Based on the latest weather information on Hurricane Florence, the following update is being provided to our residents. As we continue to discuss the storm with Emergency Management and the National Weather Service, we will provide updates as needed.  

11:00 am Sunday, September 16, 2018

Tropical Storm Florence has been downgraded to Tropical Depression Florence. We  are experiencing 10 mph sustained winds with 18 mph gusts and will experience those conditions until noon today. After that, winds will remain at 6-8 mph. We will have heavy rains on and off through Monday night. At 10 pm last night we had received approximately 1.5” of rain. As of 10:30 am this morning we were up to 3.5”. We are expected to receive another 3” of rain between now and Monday evening in this area. The threat of downed trees has diminished, but the threat isn’t completely gone. We are still anticipating some localized flooding through Monday evening due to the volume of rain. DSS is in the process of closing all three shelters at this time. We will have some of our maintenance crews coming in this afternoon clearing street drains in low areas as there is a good bit of debris out on the roads that could clog those in significant down pours. 

While we aren’t 100% out of the woods yet, we would like to take this time to thank Tim Gillette, Chief Scott Szymanski, Chief Steve Parker, Katie Poulsen, Philip Jolley, Capt. Justin Dailey, Capt. James Patterson, Lt. James Parker, Lt. Chris Reid, Lt. Will Blackwelder, Lt. Dan Wilkins, Antonio Maturo, Chad Holland, Jeremy Hutchison and the men and women of our Public Works, TCUD, TCPD and TCFD for their hard work last week and over the week in preparing to handle this storm. They had us ready to take on the worst of this storm and we are thankful they didn’t have to. Unless conditions worsen this afternoon, this will be the City's last update on the storm. 

For downed trees:

  • If a tree falls in the road, call (803) 548-0340. 
  • If a tree falls in your yard, driveway, on your car (with no one in the car), call a tree company. 
  • Only call 9-1-1 if a tree has landed in a location where people are trapped and needing assistance
  • Our priority for clearing downed trees from roadways will be similar to road clearing during snow and ice storms. Primary/arterial roads will be the focus, then secondary collector roads, then secondary streets. From there we will work to clear the golf course and ball fields, then walking trails, then parks. If you encounter a road or section of a road that is flooded and impassible, call the non-emergency number (803-548-0340) and DO NOT ATTEMPT to drive through it, especially if it is moving water. 

We would like to remind residents social media should not be used to notify the City an issue or emergency. For emergencies, call 9-1-1. For other issues, call the non-emergency number (803) 548-0340. City staff will be working to disseminate information on all City communication platforms, including CodeRed (sign up here). CodeRed is only used for instances of emergency.  

Lastly, please stay off the roads. If you venture out and get into an accident or need help, we have to put our staff in harm’s way to save you.

Important Reminders

  • CodeRed- Be sure to sign up for this free emergency alert service. Don’t wait for the storm to get here.
  • Downed Trees – Report downed trees to the non-emergency number 803-548-0340. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLEAR ROADWAYS.
  • Power Outages – Report power outages directly to your provider.
    • Duke Energy- 1-800-769-3766
    • York Electric – 1-866-374-1234
  • Water/Sewer Emergency – Call (803)-548-3514 and choose option 0 to report a utility emergency.
  • York County Emergency Management Hotline - (803) 325-2400. Use this number for info on storm and shelters. 
  • Catawba River Access - The river-launch located on New Gray Rock Road is closed as well as all Rock Hill river access points. Rock Hill is also opening the RV lots at the BMX facility for evacuees. 
  • Recreational Vehicles - The 72-hour Recreational Vehicle Permit is waived starting today until Friday, September 21st. Recreational vehicles are not permitted to be parked in roadways and must be placed in residential driveways.  
  • Shelter Information - Shelters will close at noon today.
  • Emergency Kit – To see a list of suggested items for an emergency kit please visit
  • DO NOT Drive into Standing Water #YourCarIsNotaBoat - Unless absolutely necessary, we are asking folks to stay off the roads through the weekend.  It could put you, and consequently our Public Safety and Operations personnel, at risk.
  • Stay Informed – Visit the SC Emergency Management Division website for vital information regarding storm updates. Follow on Twitter @SCEMD. You can also call the public information phone system at 1-866-246-0133

*Previous updates*

11:00 am Saturday, September 15, 2018

Based on the latest update from Emergency Management, the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Starting around 4 pm today they are projecting 28 mph sustained winds with 40 mph gusts. Currently we have 24 mph sustained winds. Rainfall between 4 pm this afternoon and 10 pm tonight is forecasted at 1-2” per hour. We’ve had a few trees come down but nothing significant at this point. We are still anticipating downed trees through the evening and possible localized flooding. We still want everyone using the same precautions that we have been and will communicate this accordingly on our communications platforms.

2:15 pm Friday, September 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence is now a Cat 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds but has slowed to only moving 3 mph as a storm. It will be moving WSW across the SC coast today. Rainfall is expected to begin later today locally and rain 10-12” between Saturday and Sunday. Winds in the area beginning on Saturday are expected to be 25 mph sustained with 38 mph gusts. On Sunday, winds should be around 13 mph sustained with 18 mph gusts. Rainfall on Sunday for an approximate 6-hour period is projected at 2” per hour. As we have stated before, there is no storm system anywhere around here that can handle that much rainfall. There will be localized flooding. Duke Energy continues to drop lake levels in Lake Wylie, but that will soon subside as they have to monitor downstream at Fishing Creek and Wateree. Rainfalls south of us will be greater. We are still expecting wide spread power outages, but have no prediction on length of time or how severe that will be at this point. We are also anticipating lots of downed trees throughout the entire area.

The information line  York County Emergency Management is (803) 325-2400. Please call that line for shelter info and general info during the storm.

Shelters in the County opened at noon today. There are two in Rock Hill (Mt. Holly Church and Boyd Hill) and one in Clover (1st Baptist). 

Lastly, we are asking everyone to please remove their cars from the street. They can park at Runde Park, Turner Field, Beach & Swim Center, the Golf Club or Walmart if necessary. We need everything to stay off the roads starting this evening. With a large volume of downed trees expected, crews will be clearing what is necessary to make the road passable and piling debris on the side of the road. In traditional Tega Cay that may reduce some of those roads to single lanes of travel. Vehicles parked on roadways will make that issue even worse. We understand many people are providing shelter for evacuees from the coast (friends and family members), so it will be best that if those cars can’t fit in the driveway, get them to one of the aforementioned lots so that they are out of way.

4:30 pm Thursday, September 13, 2018:

The FMSD has canceled school for tomorrow. This is due to the wind forecast starting tonight and intensifying as we move into Saturday. Starting later this evening and into tomorrow, we will start experiencing sustained winds of 15-20 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Rain will begin later tonight and begin intensifying Friday afternoon/evening. They are projecting 6"-10” of rainfall from tonight through Sunday for this area. 

The current trajectory of the storm, which is now a Cat 2 (winds up to 110 mph), is forecast to make landfall somewhere between Wilmington and Cape Fear in North Carolina later this evening. From there it is projected to move south along the SC coast to as far south as Georgetown at which point the eye is forecast to begin moving west/northwest just south of Columbia. As it reaches the upstate of SC they are predicting it to move up through the NC mountains. We are expecting localized flooding throughout the county along with downed trees and power lines. Warning sirens will only be used in the event a tornado warning is issued. The York County Office of Emergency Management will not use the sirens for tropical storm weather during this event. Because we will be north and eventually northeast of the eye, there is a high potential for tornado activity. Again, we are projected to receive 6” to 10” of rain by the end of this storm. Storm drainage systems are not designed to handle this much water in a short span of time. Localized flooding is expected. Please see shelter information below. 

4:30 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018:

According to the National Weather Service, we are expecting wind gusts between 20-35 mph to begin Friday afternoon with sustained winds reaching as high as 70+ mph through Sunday. Currently, we are projected to receive 6”-10” of rainfall as this storm is predicted to move very slowly.  Storm drain systems are not designed to handle this capacity of rainfall in such a short period of time. Therefore, we are anticipating areas of localized flooding until the surge passes. Our maintenance crews have been, and will continue to, focus on clearing all inlets and pipes throughout the city to minimize flooding as much as possible. 

Due to the current path, York County will be north of the eye of the storm, conditions could produce tornados in the area. We are anticipating large-scale power outages but have confirmed Duke Energy and York Electric are ready to respond.  Be patient as it could take time to restore power.  These power outages will not cause loss of water service; however, it could cause a reduction in water pressure depending on water usage during that time.  Any complete interruption of water service would be a result of downed trees’ root systems damaging the underground water lines. 

We are anticipating downed trees throughout the City due to high winds and saturated soils.  Our crews will be responding accordingly and, as necessary, making use of the County-wide Debris Management Program. Expect debris pickup to be delayed as the first priority of crews is to clear roadways of obstructions.  While we appreciate the volunteer spirit and offers we have received, please do not go out to clear roads.  Report a downed trees by calling the non-emergency number 803-548-0340.    

Staff will continue daily calls with Emergency Management and the National Weather Service up to and throughout the storm and keep you informed.

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