Drivers express concerns over hurricane evacuation route in Dorchester Co.
DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Hurricane evacuation routes are created to help everyone get to safety, but one community member says the route would create problems during an already stressful situation.
When evacuating during a hurricane, many people in the Lowcountry may have to take Dorchester Road to Highway 17A to get to safety.
Some concerns from nearby homeowners, including Fred W., surround the evacuation route in Dorchester County going from a five-lane road to a two-lane road, with only one stoplight in between.
“There’s only more traffic coming down here every day, and they expect all this traffic to flow through this one little two lane stretch of road out there,” Fred W. says. “And it’s not going to work.”
The route in particular would take people on James Island, Folly Island, Charleston and Summerville out of the area during an evacuation.
This stretch of Highway 17A is down to only one lane, with the shoulder having a large drop off into a wooded area.
“In my lifetime, I’ve probably seen 15 or 20 cars that have come off the road and they’re laying down in the bottom that ditch upside down,” Fred W. says. “So, something needs to be done about it.”
Living in the Lowcountry since Hurricane Hugo, Fred W. says the traffic on the specific evacuation route was a real mess.
“What happened back in Hurricane Hugo; there were a couple of wrecks out here, there weren’t stoplights back then,” he says. “The traffic was backed all the way up to Summerville and everybody was getting upset.”
South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Corporal Nick Pye says the best way to avoid confusion during a hurricane is to know your emergency route on the South Carolina Emergency Management website.
“In the event that we have to reverse the lanes, we want to make sure that we’re prepared and ready to do what we need to do,” Pye says. “We ask the public, now’s the time for them to put a plan in place and make sure they know not only their route, but other things like having an emergency kit ready making sure your vehicle is in good working order.”
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