News Flash

Town of Bluffton News Flash

Posted on: August 12, 2020

Mayor's Message - August 12, 2020

Dear Bluffton, 

We skirted another tropical storm last week, however, many weather experts keep predicting more activity and more severe storms this hurricane season.  Please take time now and prepare your plan, refill prescriptions, assemble a plastic bin of your important papers, and know where you want to go if you have to evacuate.  

This could be the second most active hurricane season on record. On the average, each season results in an average of 13 named storms.  This season is predicted to have more than double that averagae.  Granted, not all will affect the South Carolina coast however, the more named storms, the more probablity, more will affect us. 

From the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/National Hurricane Center: 

•    NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has issued its updated outlook for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Scientists state that the atmospheric and oceanic conditions are primed to fuel storm development in the Atlantic, leading to what could be an “extremely active” season.

•    The updated outlook calls for 19-25 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 7-11 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 3-6 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This update covers the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30, and includes the nine named storms to date.

•    Remember - the outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline. The National Hurricane Center provides tropical weather outlooks out to five days in advance, provides track and intensity forecasts for individual storms, and issues watches and warnings for specific tropical storms, hurricanes and the associated storm surge.

Hurricane References: 

The Town remains prepared to respond to every weather event.  If you need additional guidance about how to prepare, please check out the Town resources on its website: https://www.townofbluffton.sc.gov/. A dedicated hurricane section is located at the top, left of the homepage. That section has frequently-asked-questions, resources from partner agencies and the South Carolina 2020 Hurricane Guide, published by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. 

Additionally, the Town’s Emergency Management Division is electronically providing two Hurricane Preparedness Presentations.

The presentations cover lessons learned from past storms, evacuation routes, procedures during an evacuation, as well as how to develop a plan for evacuation.

The links are available below, or log onto the Bluffton Police Department’s YouTube page. The presentation in English is available via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoAtI4G492A&t=1409s and the presentation in Spanish is available via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtRNBhwqUwU

For those who have questions after watching the videos, please email Lt. Mike Danyov at mdanyov@townofbluffton.com or Sgt. Bonifacio Perez at bperez@townofbluffton.com.  

COVID-19 Update:

While South Carolina, Beaufort County and Bluffton are still labeled as areas where cases are very active, the number of positive cases statewide is decreasing.  We all still need to remain vigilant and wear masks while in public.  A special thanks to our state leaders who have coordinated multiple, local testing sites. 

Free COVID-19 Testing: 

Below are free testing sites which require no appointment, doctor’s referral or fee. 

•    Bluffton High School:  Wednesday, August 19, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. Address:  12 H.E. McCracken Circle

•    Whale Branch Middle School:  Wednesday, August 26, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. Address: 169 State Highway

•    Hilton Head High School:  Wednesday, September 2, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. Address:  1 Wilborn Road

Mobile Testing Clinics Around SC: 

•    To stay informed of where additional mobile testing clinics are located, please refer to link:  https://scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-mobile-pop-clinics.  This page is updated as new testing clinics are confirmed. Residents can also receive a test at one of the many permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for more information on permanent testing locations.

Make it Count Bluffton! /Census 2020/NEW DEADLINE -- September 30: 

The U.S. Census numbers is the one-stop shop for data about every community in the nation.  These figures help the Town of Bluffton apply for grants and funding sources to provide for our residents. How does the Census benefit you and the Town of Bluffton?  Based on our population growth and figures, the Town has received grants and other funding sources which has helped pay many public projects such as the new Calhoun Street Regional Dock, parks, hurricane reimbursement and so forth. Please, if you haven’t filled out the U.S. Census 2020, please take 5 minutes and do so.  We are counting on you to Make It Count for Bluffton! The link is:  www.2020Census.gov.  

Warmly, 

Mayor Lisa Sulka  

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