Help speed up recovery process in Florence by staying off roads

Help speed up recovery process in Florence by staying off roads

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Officials say you can help speed up the recovery process by staying off the roads in the City of Florence.

Officials say it's like a puzzle trying to get through the city and it will be that way for some time.

They're begging everyone to limit time on the roads. If they don't have to be out, just stay inside.

There are more than 120 roads closed and 4 bridges out in the City of Florence. That's causing congestion on the roads that are open.

There are also a number of areas without traffic signals or lights damaged beyond repair.

Officials are asking you, if you come up to a light that's not working, treat it like a four-way stop.

Police say, there are people from Charleston, Beaufort and Horry Counties staying in Florence, so there are already extra people on the roads making it hard for crews like Duke Energy to get through to start their assessments.

The Florence Police Chief says the traffic issues are becoming too tremendous for them right now.

"We have people that are going around barricades, a number of people are going taking cones out of the roadways they're trying to go through areas that they shouldn't be going through because there are trees and power lines down and those are dangerous areas," Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler said.

The Florence Police Chief says he can't stress enough the entire cleanup process is not going to happen overnight, it's going to take a long time to get things back to a level of complete normalcy.

The Florence County Fire Rescue team responded to more calls than normal. The department responded to 250 calls which is more than they normally respond to in one month.

The Fire Rescue team in Florence says there were two traffic related deaths because of the hurricane.

People were driving through water causing them to drift off the roads.

That's why they are urging you to stay off the roads as much as possible.

They say they are still dangerous during the day and even deadly when the sun has set because of flooding and washouts.

The Florence County Fire Chief says over the weekend they needed to rescue dozens of people overcome by the water.

"We rescued or assisted 62 people from either on top of their vehicles of  their vehicles that driven in the water or later in the day. The second phase as water start creeping up on their houses and start interfering with their life in their homes," Florence Fire Department Chief Randy Osterman.

Even though Hurricane Matthew is long gone, the Florence Fire Chief says turn around don't drown because that's exactly what can happen.

The department wants to limit the number of rescues and you can help by not driving through flooded roads.

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