CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City Council passed an emergency ordinance Saturday affirming public safety officials' authority to close roads, streets, highways or other public right-of-ways determined to be a danger.
The ordinance comes in addition to the declared State of Emergency by President Barack Obama and Gov. Nikki Haley.
The city, in a separate move, opened limited access to the Charleston peninsula only via exit 221 from I-26 Eastbound and the Meeting Street exit on the Ravenel Bridge on US 17 South, according to city spokesman Cameron Wolfsen.
This limited access is intended for residents and business owners so they can access their homes and businesses. Essential personnel required to report to work at medical facilities or public safety agencies on the peninsula will continue to be allowed access by providing appropriate issued identification.
Wolfsen said more than 60 streets remain closed throughout the City, and over the next 24 hours additional significant rainfall is expected, along with exceptionally high tides that will create dangerous and potentially life-threatening conditions.
"Those who transit the City are reminded that we are still in the midst of this severe weather event and motorists should not drive through any standing bodies of water or travel in areas that are unfamiliar," Wolfsen said. "As darkness approaches, the situation will become more treacherous, and it will become more difficult to travel. Motorists are strongly encouraged to avoid driving throughout the City whenever possible."
City officials say this unusual weather event has placed a significant burden on residents and business owners.