Folly Beach Postal Worker Sacrifices Car to Save Residents’ Mail During Tropical Storm Irma

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By Chris Weatherhead

If you were just told to “take cover” from the radio about a tornado and you’re closing up the Folly Post Office, are you going to risk flood and tornado to save the mail when you see water flowing toward the postal box out front? You do if you are US Postal worker Lori Braddock. You kick off your shoes, rip off your sox, roll up your pants and wade out across the parking lot with a bag to save the mail as water rises around the box. “All I could think was, ‘Get that mail out of there’!”, Lori recalls. She was alone, having sent co-worker, Shakara Blake home with a warning of a tornado in the area.

The dedicated, brave woman waded back to the door, realizing water was rising and would soon enter the post office where all the roughly 2,000 residents of Folly Beach must get their mail. Lori called her boss shouting, “The water is comin’! It’s fixin’ to come in the post office!” Her boss said to do what she could,

so she frantically began tossing packages of all sizes up as high as she could on counters and tables. Having done this, she was seized by terror that inside mailboxes up to three to four feet could soon become filled with water. “I must protect that mail,” she kept thinking.

Ms. Braddock grabbed empty plastic containers and yanked mail out of individual boxes from one side of the office all around to the other, wrapping each box’s mail in rubber bands as quickly has possible, spending the next hour saving mail four feet up as the water sloshed in the lobby.

Never thinking about her car in the back lot while doing this sacrificial act, she finally looked out back and realized her car was submerged. Further into the road water was waist deep so she went back in and waited. Finally, floodwaters began to recede, the causeway was re-opened and her daughter came to save her.

Two days later, when we returned from evacuation, her car had been towed away. I came for my mail and found out how two important packages we’d been waiting for and our mail in a bottom level box near the floor had narrowly been saved. Amazing devotion to duty and tremendous dedication are hallmarks of a hero. Ms. Lori Braddock is a true hero to the people of Folly Beach who saved our mail from Irma’s floodwaters.

Grateful residents can thank her or send thanks c/o Folly Beach, SC 29439

Chris Weatherhead, P.O. Box 930, Folly Beach, SC 29439

Photos:? Lori Braddock (right) and Shakara Blake (left) / Boat washed up from Tropical Storm Irma / Folly Beach flooding

 

Charleston, SC Prepares for Hurricane Irma

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By Mark A. Leon

Just as Texas begins the process of rebuilding from Hurricane Harvey, Mexico is rocked by its worst Earthquake in a century, Hurricane Katia is moving into Mexico, and Hurricane Jose is on the tail of Irma, the Southeast braces for what could be one of the most destructive natural disasters in history.? Here in Charleston, it appears we may be spared from a direct hit, but our coastal area will feel the effects with heavy winds and rain and tornado like conditions.

As we brace for the next few days, our thoughts are with Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and beyond.

This is not new to Charleston, so businesses, hotels and homes are taking the proper precautions.? If you aren’t from these parts, there are an unnerving look of quietness in the Lowcountry as we prepare for the next 72 to 96 hours.

Here are some images of Charleston, SC preparing for Hurricane Irma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be safe everyone.

 

 

 

 

Important Lowcountry Hurricane Information Phone Numbers and Media Sites

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Information Lines – Hurricane / Disaster Related Information

Berkeley County: 843-719-4800

Charleston County: for English, 843-746-3900; for Spanish, 843-746-3909; TTY, 843-746-3911

Dorchester County: Summerville area, 843-832-0393; St. George area, 843-563-0393

Each county also puts information on its emergency management department website. For Charleston County information, for Berkeley County, and for Dorchester County.

For information about American Red Cross relief efforts, including emergency shelters, contact 843-746-2323

Law enforcement, EMS, Fire

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911.

Charleston Police Department (Twitter and Facebook)

North Charleston Police Department (Twitter and Facebook)

Mount Pleasant Police Department (Twitter and Facebook)

Charleston County Sheriff’s Office (Twitter and Facebook)

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office (Twitter and Facebook)

Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office (Twitter and Facebook)

Summerville Police Department (Twitter and Facebook)

S.C. Highway Patrol (Twitter and Facebook)

Utilities

Charleston Water System, 843-727-6800

Summerville Commissioners of Public Works, 843-871-0810

Berkeley County Water and Sanitation, 843-572-4400

South Carolina Electric and Gas, call 1-888-333-4465 to report downed or sparking lines and 1-800-815-0083 to report a gas leak. For general information, call 1-800-251-7234, visit their website

For information about road conditions and evacuation routes, contact the S.C. Department of Transportation at 855-467-2368

For general information about hurricane and other disaster preparedness, contact the S.C. Emergency Management Division at 803-737-8500, visit their website

Important Charleston, South Carolina Hurricane Evacuation Information

2017 South Carolina Hurricane Guide – Download Information

Evacuation Map

SCDOT Evacuation Routes for the State

Evacuation route maps and updates can be found by visiting:

From SC DNR:

Who Should Evacuate?

People living in low lying areas of South Carolina’s coastal counties, as well as anyone living in a mobile home in any of the coastal counties, are required to evacuate for all hurricanes, regardless of the category. Other areas will be required to evacuate when category 4 or 5 storms threaten their areas. The Governor’s Office will make the decision on which areas should evacuate when a hurricane threatens the coast. To help you make your hurricane plan, please refer to the hurricane evacuation zone maps found in the 2017 South Carolina Hurricane Guide.

Before You Evacuate:

  • Make a family communication plan using the instructions found at Ready.gov.
  • Make sure there is gas in the car so that you can be ready to evacuate immediately.
  • Make sure your automobile’s emergency kit is fully stocked and ready.
  • Tune in the radio or television for weather updates and evacuation updates.
  • Take action when you think severe weather may be moving into your area, even if no official warning is given.
  • Determine your evacuation destination and write out route.
  • Store home and lawn care chemicals above areas that could be flooded.
  • Shut off the water to the house.
  • Let people know when you are leaving and where you are going. If possible, leave contact information.
  • Lock the windows and doors.
  • Close blinds and drapes.
  • Put plastic bags over TVs, stereos, lamps, computers, etc.
  • Fill the sinks and bathtubs with water to use for bathing, washing clothes, flushing, when you return.
  • Pack some clothes in plastic bags and store on high shelves
  • Adjust the refrigerator and freezer to the coolest possible setting.
  • Follow the instructions provided by local utility companies or emergency preparedness officials regarding the turning off of electric and gas utilities.
  • Find a secure place for boats or second cars. Place under cover if possible.
  • Trim trees and shrubs of weak limbs.
  • Cover windows and doors with shutters or plywood if possible. If that is not possible, place large strips of masking tape across the windows to reduce the possibility of flying glass.
  • Bring inside or otherwise secure items outdoors such as lawn furniture, bird feeders, bicycles, grills, propane tanks and planters.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly to make sure they do not need assistance in evacuating.
  • Put your survival supplies in the car. If officials order an evacuation, leave as soon as possible, preferably during daylight.