First responders prepare for storm damage

A tree falls near Crane Ave. in Greenville County.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Emergency crews are prepared to respond to any problems this weather creates. First responders say they’ve been planning for weather events like this for some time.

Brad Dwyer lives in the Berea area. He says he heard a crack just before a tree fell in his yard.

“I saw it come down,” Dwyer said. “It snapped the power line there, and sparks flew out of it.”

A few trees fell around Crane Avenue, blocking the roads which firefighters say was one of their biggest concerns.

“Having trees fall as a result of the moisture on the ground and the sustained winds,” said Greenville City Fire Department Chief Steve Kovalcik.

By 3:30 p.m., county officials say 17 trees had fallen on roads in the county.

The city fire department brought in extra firefighters to help with any issues. They also put chainsaws in every vehicle to be able to clear roadways more efficiently.

“We plan for the worst and hope it doesn’t take place,” Kovalcik said.

Kovalcik says emergency officials are actually using a plan they created for the Eclipse.

“We tweaked it a little bit, crossed some things out, and decided we were going to utilize this plan for the hurricane,” Kovalcik said.

They divided the county into three areas that can each work as their own department. Doing that helps officials track resources during the storm.

“It’s important that we do that, so we don’t send too many resources to one area, and we can’t get them out if they’re needed elsewhere,” Kovalcik said.

He says no matter what happens over the next few hours, they’re prepared.

“We have to adapt and overcome, that’s what we do,” Kovalcik said.

The county wants to remind people that even if there is a tree down in a roadway, if power lines are involved, they can’t move it until the power company is on scene.