Tri-County leaders hold news conference on Florence, evacuations

VIDEO: Evacuations ordered ahead of Cat. 4 Florence

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Tri-County leaders held a news conference Monday afternoon on Hurricane Florence and a mandatory evacuation ordered by Gov. Henry McMaster.

Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties are operating at OPCON 2, the maximum preparedness level before a disaster strikes.

As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, officials say motorists will not be able to get onto I-26 or I-526 because those roadways will be used to feed the lane reversals that officially begin at noon.

Evacuation shelter locations will be available on and in the SC Emergency Manager mobile app as soon as they are opened.

Evacuees should pack the following essential items in anticipation of a potentially prolonged evacuation period: required medications, adequate clothing, and essential personal items. Residents going to evacuation shelters should bring their own blankets, pillows, cots, and special food items if they are on restricted diets.

Individuals and families should plan to board pets with veterinarians, kennels, or other facilities in non-vulnerable areas. Pets are not allowed inside Red Cross evacuation shelters.

Citizen Information Numbers:

  • Charleston County: 843-746-3900
  • Berkeley County: 843-719-4800
  • Dorchester County: 843-832-0393 or 843-563-0393

Earlier, McMaster ordered the mandatory evacuation of all coastal S.C. counties and a lane reversal of up to four routes, including I-26 beginning at noon Tuesday.

Click here to download the free Live 5 First Alert Weather app.

Click here for the Live 5 Hurricane Center.

Click here for a checklist for your Hurricane Survival Kit.

Though the latest track shifted the average predictions for landfall toward Wilmington, North Carolina, all of the Lowcountry remains in the so-called "cone of uncertainty," with some models placing landfall near Charleston.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is asking residents in potentially vulnerable areas to review their plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storm threatens the state.

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