Charleston police officers head to Georgetown to help as flood threat nears

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Georgetown is entering the beginning stages of the life-threatening flooding expected this weekend, and some of Charleston’s own have gone to help.

Twenty-three Charleston Police officers went to Georgetown today to begin their work with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office.

They are just a few of the 200 patrols from around the country sent to make sure anyone who needs help can get it.

The city called for evacuations of some areas on Saturday, leaving homes and businesses empty.

Charleston Police Capt. Chip Searson says they are here to help with several things, including keeping the public safe from people trying to take advantage of empty and unmonitored buildings.

“We will help them be on the lookout for those who want to take advantage while residents are not at home,” said Searson.

Senior Officer Phil Dunford said goodbye to his wife and kids today to take on a new role in Georgetown.

He said his main job this week is to put his life aside and make himself available for any task, whether it be big or small.

“We will be blocking off roadways, assisting with protection of property, and evacuations,” said Searson. “It’s our job to try to keep their property and belongings as safe as we possibly can.”

Georgetown is expected to have substantial and long-lasting flooding, so the Charleston officers expect to be here until at least Monday, possibly longer.

“It’s a time to give back to folks, which is something we do every day anyway. But more so in times like these,” said Searson.

They said since their loved ones are home safe, they want to make sure everyone else’s are too.

“Take care of your family, just do what you have to do for your personal safety. Belongings can always be replaced,” said Searson.

The Charleston officers say they are here to keep you safe if you stay, and your belongings safe if you go.

Searson says this was an easy decision to make since he knows the Georgetown officers would do the exact same for Charleston if needed.

Members of the fire and police departments from Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston have also gone to Georgetown to help out this week, showing the Lowcountry law enforcement and responders make sure help is always sent when needed.

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