Charleston Co. holds hurricane drill

Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Emergency Leaders are working right now to keep you and your family safe during the threat of a hurricane.

It's hurricane awareness week, and Wednesday the County went through its annual hurricane drill.

This year's scenario had emergency operations agencies dealing with a Category 2 hurricane headed towards Charleston with the threat of it turning into a Category 3. The drill said there was a possibility of Governor Haley ordering an evacuation for the Charleston area.

As a result, the goal was to get the public notified about this short notice hurricane, and evacuated as soon as possible.

In the past two weeks the area saw traffic at its worst after the Ravenel bridge shutdown for an accident.

While it wasn't a hurricane evacuation it's raised concerns about getting out of Charleston County if one was headed this way.

The Emergency Operations Center is asking the community to learn their routes now and prepare.

"We don't have that many roads out of Charleston County that take us inland," Cathy Haynes, with the Charleston County Emergency Operations Management, said Wednesday. "The Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol are the ones who determine the evacuation routes for the entire coast of South Carolina. They base it on the way the roads, the direction the roads travel."

You can view evacuations routes online, as well as on the back of any South Carolina map. There are only about seven routes that head out of Charleston County, however a majority of people travel on I-526 and I-26. County officials ask that you take the routes in the areas you live in. They say even when I-26 is reversed you may not get to your final destination as fast as you would think.

"I can assure you, even with the weather we have today, you would probably get to Columbia a lot faster today, than you would if the Interstate was reversed in an evacuation," Haynes said.

Studies by Highway Patrol and other agencies state the average speed when I-26 is reversed is between 30 and 40 miles per hour.

County agencies ask that you leave early, sometimes ahead of the Governor's evacuation order, to make sure you get to safety ahead of time.

"You're not going to get out of here any faster if you decide to wait until that Interstate is reversed, much less, you may not even see the Interstate until that order is given," Haynes said.

That's where the Emergency Operations Center comes in. Those county, state, and federal agencies updates media platforms to bring you the latest information regarding an emergency.

It's part of the reason why this training happens each year. It's a way for these employees to fine-tune their techniques given different disaster like situations.


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