BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Berkeley and Dorchester counties are preparing for potentially heavy rain that would impact much of the Lowcountry later this week.

The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy rain, gusty winds, and the risk for some tornadoes as Hurricane Ian makes its trek through parts of the southeast Thursday into Friday.

Officials in Dorchester County said they are currently checking culverts and other areas to ensure ditches are cleared and free to move water at a rapid pace. They also ask residents to do a similar check at their own property.

“It’s also a great time to check those gutters, check those drains, make sure there are no obstacles so that drainage will occur naturally around their home or business properties,” said Thomas McNeal, Dorchester Director of Emergency Management.

With the potential win and rain threat, Berkeley County’s director of emergency management, Will Rochester, said they are focusing their attention on areas that have flooded in the past.

“We’re looking at areas like Daniel Island, Cainhoy, Huger. We’re looking at Zone B, specifically. We’re not ordering any evacuations. The governor has not ordered any evacuations at this time, so we’re looking at those frequent areas like College Park that flood during events.”

Rochester said they are confident the county has the right people in place to respond, no matter what happens.

“A lot of our support folks are the folks who responded to Florence, Dorian, and even storms before that. Charleston County is the same way, Dorchester County‘s the same way, and we’re continually talking with those partners as well and make sure we respond as a team and region not just as individual counties.”

Forecasters say it’s still too early to determine exactly what impacts Hurricane Ian will have on the Lowcountry after it makes landfall in Florida later this week.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is also calling for residents to monitor the storm and to review their family’s emergency plans — whether Ian brings severe weather to South Carolina or not, they remind us we are in peak hurricane season.

You can track Hurricane Ian in the Storm Team 2 weather app and receive breaking weather alerts and important information in the News 2 app. For hurricane preparedness tips, please visit the Tracking the Tropics page.