Town prepares for possible effects of hurricane


Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said town officials met with Anderson County Emergency Preparedness officials to begin making preparations for possible effects of Hurricane Irma on the area early next week.
Durham said representatives of Williamston Fire, Police, Public Works and MedShore Ambulance attended the meeting Thursday afternoon.
Durham said the town’s biggest concern is making sure diesel generators are operating in case they are needed to power sewer pump stations if there is a power outage. “We will prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” the mayor said.

As of Thursday night, weather officials were predicting the Category 5 hurricane to progress toward the upstate, declining to a Category 1 storm bringing high winds and as much as ten inches of rain to the upstate.
Durham said the town will prepare for maximum impact from the storm.
By Friday the storm track had shifted more westerly, indicating the area may escape the brunt of the remnants of Hurricane Irma. Durham said the town hasn’t been called on to provide any emergency shelters, but would assist if needed.
The mayor updated members of council on the storm and other town related issues during a work session held Thursday evening.
Durham said work on the Municipal Center Auditorium has begun including removing bleachers, replacing wood flooring and sheetrock where the bleachers were, addition of two new storage areas and other electrical and lighting upgrades to enhance the use of the facility for special events.
Preparing for the upcoming council meeting on Monday, Durham said Alliance Engineers is applying for a grant to help with funding for a water improvement project. He said approximately 300 new radio read water meters have already been installed throughout the town.
Durham said some customers are seeing a slight increase in their billing, which he said is the result of the new meters recording actual use, where the old meters had not been accurate.
He also told council members that the town is looking at current sewer allocation and how available capacity could be used for new development.
Durham said there are several properties in and around Williamston that are possibilities for future housing development. He also mentioned that he plans to request CFunds for the Cherokee Road to Prince Street project.
“We will try to get some movement on residential growth and Anderson County has helped provide information on demographics,” he said. “Which is another reason to clean up our sewer capacity.”
Durham said there will be a 9/11 memorial service held at the Williamston Fire Department at 2 p.m. this Saturday. The annual Homesteading Festival and VW Campout will also be going on in Williamston on Friday and Saturday, he said.
Durham said the council will need to appoint a commissioner for the AJRWS.
In the past the mayor has served as the representative.