Richmond County will suspend normal operations Monday, except for “essential functions” dealing with the impacts of Hurricane Irma, Fire Chief Chris James said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. Garbage pickup will be delayed by a day.
Columbia County offices will also be closed Monday. North Augusta will remain open, but with garbage pickup delayed by a day. Aiken city government offices will be open.
James said Richmond County had opened 10 shelters for evacuees and that they were full Sunday. Columbia County had made Patriots Park available for the overflow and if it filled up, McDuffie County was ready to step up to help, James said. After that, he said, officials would find someplace to house people.
He said Augusta area residents should be prepared for more than 3.5 inches of rain and the possibilities of flash flooding, high winds and tornadoes Monday. The city was preparing to open several severe weather shelters for residents, starting at 8 p.m. Sunday and staying open until 8 p.m. Monday, or later if needed.
Those shelters were to be at Hephzibah High School, Hephzibah Middle School, Spirit Creek Middle School and Morgan Road Middle School.
He asked that residents who want to drop off supplies for the shelters bring them the old fire station at 2163 Central Ave. Needed supplies include bath towels, washcloths, soap, flip-flops or shower shoes, unopened packages of Tylenol or ibuprofen, alcohol wipes, lotion, sweat pants and diapers for children and adults.
James said Richmond County schools, Fort Gordon and Augusta University also would be shut down Monday, “so if you don’t need to be out, don’t be out.”
Reach James Folker at (706) 823-3338