NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Officials with Charleston County have voted to enter an agreement with Dorchester School District Two that allows the county to use designated DD2 school buildings as hurricane shelters.
Charleston County says it conducted an internal review of it’s hurricane shelters and determined they were not safe enough to withstand hurricanes stronger than a category three according to Charleston County Emergency Department Director, Jason Patno.
“We also hired an independent engineering firm and they confirmed those findings and determined that our shelters could not withstand greater than category three force winds,” says Patno.
Charleston County Council Member Anna Johnson says the need for the agreement is clear.
“People will be able to have the protection that they need, whenever it’s that kind of category hurricane in our area,” says Johnson.
Deborah Jenkins who lives in Charleston County says residents need more help and shelters during hurricanes.
“We need them because during Hurricane Dorian I lost my trailer, my roof came off. I had no where to go, I had to go to a hotel,” says Jenkins.
Jenkins says having the shelters put in place for Charleston County residents will benefit those who have no where to go.
“That’s great because we’re already going through enough, we’re already paying enough, so I mean the more shelters that we can get, the better off we’ll be,” says Jenkins.
Patno says Charleston County has no plans to upgrade the shelters in the county at this time. The agreement with DD2 will renew each year automatically under the same conditions unless the county or school district chooses to terminate it. The agreement will come at no costs to Charleston County residents.