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Bladen County Braces For Tropical Storm Isaias

Government meetings were canceled and offices were closed, Bladen County Schools closed Monday and will remain closed Tuesday and two shelters were opened as Bladen County hunkered down Monday night in anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaias bringing rain and high winds overnight.

As of 8 p.m. Monday, Bladen County remained under a tropical storm warning, according to the National Weather Service. Isaias had regained hurricane strength winds of at least 75 mph as it moved within 60 miles south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A tornado watch also has been issued.

A warning means several weather is occurring or imminent. A watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather development.

Bladen County may feel winds between 45 and 55 mph with gusts up to 70 mph through early Tuesday morning. Rainfall may be between 3 and 6 inches. Bladen County remains under a flash flood watch.

Ahead of the storm, Bladen County Emergency Management opened shelters at East Bladen High School and Bladenboro Middle School.

Bladen County EMS Director Nathan Dowless said that due to COVID-19, congregate sheltering may not be the best option and shelters should be used only as a last resort. If people go to one of the shelters, some of the rules include:

** Individuals will be screened for COVID-19 prior to entry and periodically during shelter operations.

** Face coverings will be required at ALL times during the stay.

** Remember to pack a hurricane preparedness kit with masks, hand sanitizers, medications, and personal hygiene items.

** No cots will be provided. People are encouraged to bring their own bedding. (ex. sleeping bags, blankets, pillow).

Bladen County Schools closed Monday afternoon and will remain closed Tuesday, according to Valerie Newton, Public Relations and Information Officer with the school system.

Bladen Community College closed operation Monday afternoon. The school announced plans to open Tuesday at noon. It also noted that all online activities should continue as intended.

Bladen County, White Lake and Clarkton issued state of emergency declarations Monday afternoon.

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