CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Traffic is moving in both directions on the Wando Bridge nearly two hours after a tractor trailer tipped to its side in the eastbound side.
Mount Pleasant Police told the National Weather Service via its Twitter account that heavy winds were the likely cause of the incident.
Just before 1 p.m., the eastbound lanes, which had been blocked off at Daniel Island while heavy machinery was brought in to right the tipped trailer, were reopened, Mount Pleasant Police Inspector Chip Googe said. Traffic in the area remained extremely heavy.
Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis said an empty container came loose from the truck that was pulling it. The incident was reported to Charleston County Consolidated Dispacth at 11:10 a.m.
The Charleston Fire Department responded to the scene.
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Beaufort and Coastal Colleton counties at 9:33 a.m.
The advisory, which is set to expire at 6 p.m., warned of southwest winds moving at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. The highest winds are expected to occur through mid-afternoon.
Charleston County rarely closes bridges during such weather events because when the bridges become unsafe for motorists, they are also unsafe for the emergency vehicles that would have to mobilize to do so.
Instead, the county’s Emergency Operations Center will issue two different kinds of warnings when bridges become unsafe because of wind conditions.
The first is a Condition Yellow warning. When winds reach maximum sustained speeds of 30 mph, the county's Emergency Operations Center will issue a Condition Yellow warning. That means high-profile vehicles like box-trucks used by package delivery companies, tractor trailers, motor homes and vehicles pulling box-type trailers, large sailboats or other watercraft should avoid high-span or exposed bridges. Also, motorists should use extreme caution if they choose to drive across other bridges.
The second is a Condition Red warning. When maximum sustained winds reach a speed of 40 mph, the Condition Red warning will indicate high-span or exposed bridges are unsafe for public travel.
At these wind speeds, law enforcement officers may not be present because of unsafe conditions, and anyone who drives over bridges against the advisory does so at their own risk.