Oconee Co. Sheriff advises drivers to stay off roadways following Irma damage, opens shelter in Seneca

OCONEE, SC (FOX Carolina) –

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is asking drivers to avoid travel Monday night due to hazardous driving conditions.

An alert was sent out shortly after 10:30 p.m. saying due to the possibility of continued road blockages from trees, debris, and power lines, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw is advising citizens not to travel overnight if possible. He says several traffic signals are being reported out and there are some roadways with a ponding of water.

“Throughout the afternoon and into this evening, we have had reports of trees and power lines down which in many cases has blocked some of our roads in Oconee County,” said Sheriff Crenshaw. “As the day wore on and the winds and rains increased this afternoon and this evening, the problem went from being scattered in nature to more of a widespread problem. Not everyone is dealing with blocked roads and their power being out but many of our citizens are.”

The sheriff said as of 10 p.m.,the E-911/Communications Center has taken about 900 weather-related calls.

He advises motorists who are traveling to and from work Tuesday to leave early and prepare for the possibility of debris in the roadway.

The Oconee County Emergency Services Fire Chief says they have opened a shelter at the St. Mark Church in Seneca for anyone who is not comfortable in their home. The church is located at 616 Quincy Road.

Chief Charlie King said damage assessment teams will also be surveying homes and commercial properties on Tuesday. Anyone with damage to their home or business can call 864-638-4200 or 864-638-4204.

King said between 2 p.m. and midnight Monday, emergency dispatchers received nearly 1,300 calls and crews responded to 672 emergency incidents, nearly ten percent of their annual call volume in just one day.

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