CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – People living in Charleston were preparing on Wednesday for possible impacts that could come to the area from Hurricane Michael.
Regardless, officials from the city reassured people on Wednesday that they have prepared for the worst.
Our essential and emergency personnel, of course, will be all on duty to prepare and to protect our citizens and our property, Mayor John Tecklenburg said.
Charleston crews have lowered the water level in man made lakes around Charleston, like Colonial Lake. Crews have also cleared ditches to prepare ahead of flooding.
Chief Luther Reynolds with the Charleston Police Department said officers are preparing by blocking off some streets prone to flooding ahead of the storm.
We recommend to people that if you dont need to go out, to stay home and be safe because its going to be a nasty day tomorrow, Tecklenburg said.
The Charleston County Public Librarys branch in West Ashley closed early on Wednesday to set out sandbags and clear out everything on the floor of the library.
Were in a flooding zone and weve been prone to flooding a lot, Assistant Branch Manager at Charleston County Public Library Amy Fordham said.
Fordham said even in small storms, the library can easily flood. Shes only been working at the West Ashley branch since February, but shes already seen flooding because of a regular storm.
Several people in Charleston said they were caught off guard by the storm, which seemed to become a possible threat much faster than Hurricane Florence a few weeks ago.
It was just all of a sudden there, and now its right on top of us, West Ashely resident Angela Atkinson said.
During tropical storms in the past, shes had trees fall on her house. Shes worried something like that could happen again.
I am kind of worried about with the storm and the wind that it could knock one of those trees down, Atkinson said.
The City of Charleston will offer free parking in a few parking garages in downtown Charleston tomorrow in case you need to park your car there.
Charleston area leaders and emergency management officials are making preparations for Hurricane Michaels impacts in the Lowcountry.
Michael made landfall as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane shortly after 1:45 p.m. Wednesday near Mexico Beach, Florida, with 155 mph winds.
The hurricane is expected to weaken into a tropical storm as it moves northeast across Georgia and the Carolinas Wednesday night through early Friday morning.
Charleston County and surrounding areas are under a Tropical Storm Warning ahead of anticipated impacts from Michael.
ABC News 4 chief meteorologist Dave Williams says the first impacts in the Charleston area will be felt around 10 p.m. Wednesday, with the storm clearing by Thursday afternoon.
Isolated tornadoes, damaging tropical-storm force winds (39-74 mph) and heavy rain are expected once the storm reaches South Carolina.
Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg says city parking garages will be open and free of charge for city residents to park in so they can avoid potential flooding associated with Hurricane Michael rains, which happen to coincide with unusually high “king tides” along the South Carolina coast this week.
Local officials are cautioning people to stay off roads Thursday, and reminding them not to drive through flood waters.