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Storm Surge and Flooding Expected with Hurricane Matthew

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., October 8, 2016 – Hurricane Matthew is expected to bring high rainfall totals and a significant storm surge to the coastal areas of South Carolina. Because water is a major threat to safety during and following a hurricane the American Red Cross encourages anyone in the path of the storm be plan for the risk of flooding. The American Red Cross and its partners are continuing to open shelters and welcome people being evacuated from the coast. The Red Cross has also activated their Safe and Well system for people to notify their loved ones that they are safe.


The American Red Cross has issued Flood Preparedness information to help keep you and your family safe. There are things you can do ahead of time to make sure you, your family/friends/neighbors and pets stay safe. Here are a few suggestions provided by the American Red Cross.

  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there. Stay away from floodwaters.
  • If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way.
  • If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
  • Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.


The Red Cross and its partners have opened evacuation shelters across South Carolina for residents who are evacuating from the coastal areas. These shelters provide a safe, dry place for people to stay until the storm passes and they are able to safely return home.

The Red Cross encourages anyone coming to a shelter to bring the following items for each member of their family: prescription and emergency medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. It's also important not to forget special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, and other items for family members who have unique needs.

To find an open shelter, visit or download the free Red Cross Emergency App.



Safe & Well provides a central location for people in disaster areas to register their current status, and for their loved ones to access that information. Use the Safe & Well website to let loved ones know where you are staying during Hurricane Matthew and that you are ok after the storm passes.

For more updates, follow the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @RedCrossSC.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossSC.

For media inquiries, contact Jennifer M. Heisler at or 843-412-0018.