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(GEORGETOWN, S.C.) — Local authorities from various emergency response organizations have opened up an operations center in Georgetown, South Carolina, as Gov. Nikki Haley called for the evacuation of the town’s residents.

“We are watchful,” said Georgetown Country public information officer Jackie Broach. “We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.”

Those stationed in the operations center include law enforcement officials, the National Guard, Red Cross and county logistics and communications workers. They are planning to staff the center 24/7 throughout the remainder of the storm.

Since Georgetown was affected by historic flooding nearly a year ago, Broach says a top priority is distributing sandbags to protect against a recurrence.

“We had over a thousand sand bags yesterday that we distributed in just 90 minutes,” she said Thursday, adding that more bags will be continued to be distributed throughout the day.

ABC News took a tour of the operations center as preparations for Hurricane Matthew ramp up.

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