Gov. McMaster orders mandatory evacuations, school closures ahead of Dorian
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation order during a Sunday night news conference for portions of coastal areas from Jasper to Horry Counties.
McMaster said the current forecast calls for tropical storm-force winds to reach the Lowcountry by Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.
National Weather Service Meteorologist John Quagliariello said the latest forecast continues to show Dorian passing just off the South Carolina coast late Wednesday and into Thursday.
“There’s an increasing potential for strong winds in dangerous storm surge along the South Carolina coast,” Quagliariello said. “In addition, there’s a flash flood threat mainly near the coast where rainfall amounts of six to 10 inches or more are possible. It can’t be stressed enough that the track could change and any shift to the left would bring the core of Darien near the coast, along with more significant impacts.”
The evacuations cover the following counties and county zones:
- Colleton County Evacuation Zones A, B
- Beaufort County Evacuation Zone A
- Jasper County Evacuation Zone A
- Charleston County Evacuation Zones A, B, C
- Dorchester County Evacuation Zone D
- Berkeley County Evacuation Zones B, G
- Horry County Evacuation Zone A
- Georgetown County Evacuation Zone A
To figure out which zone you live in, use the “Know Your Zone” tool on the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website.
Evacuation shelter locations will be available on scemd.org and in the SC Emergency Manager mobile app as soon as they are opened.
Evacuees should pack the following essential items in case the evacuation period is lengthy: 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. While pets are not allowed inside Red Cross evacuation shelters, people with animals can take their pets with them to any shelter so volunteers can help them make arrangements.
The governor has also ordered the mandatory medical evacuation for healthcare facilities licensed by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in the aforementioned evacuation zones.
McMaster said he also issued an executive order to close schools and government offices beginning on Tuesday for the following counties:
The closures will run until further notice, he said.
Lane reversals on I-26 are set to begin at noon on Monday, meaning that both sides of I-26 between Charleston and Columbia will be switched to westbound travel. The reversal will begin at the interchange of I-26 and I-526 and will continue west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County.
One lane of US 278 in Hilton Head will also be reversed to create three westbound lanes at the intersection of Spanish Wells Drive and Moss Creek Village Drive. This reversal will run approximately two miles in length.
The S.C. Department of Public Safety and the S.C. Department of Transportation along with supporting agencies will reverse the direction of traffic along certain evacuation routes to ease the flow of traffic away from the coast at noon, he said.
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