After three years of severe storms in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry, officials say they are preparing once again for the potential of damaging winds and high flood waters. June 1 is the official start of hurricane season.
“It only takes one system to make it a bad year for us,” said News 3 Meteorologist Lee Haywood.
In 2016, a deadly Hurricane Matthew roared through. In 2017, Tropical Storm Irma damaged homes. And in 2018, Hurricane Michael downed trees and power lines.
This year, Haywood says to expect a near-normal hurricane season. A normal hurricane season typically produces 12 named storms, six of which are hurricanes.
“We know that water temperatures in the Atlantic, the gulf and the Caribbean are warmer than average. We know that the Atlantic monsoonal pattern are pretty active right now,” said Haywood.
He says the numbers do not mean much. It’s more about the path of the storm.
“Maybe none of them hit the U.S.,” Haywood said. “Maybe three hit the U.S. You have to take it with a grain of salt.”
His advice is to use expos to prepare like a storm will hit us again. That’s what Chatham Emergency Services is doing with a mobile operations center. And it’s what insurance companies are doing with emergency kits.
Hurricane season ends at the end of November.