Hurricane Florence Update: Mandatory Evacuation Underway (9/11/18)

Last update: 9/11/18 at 2:32 pm

It's clear that Hurricane Florence will have an impact on South Carolina - to what extent, we still don't know. Despite that uncertainty, state officials are certainly not taking a "wait-and-see" approach. The message Monday and Tuesday was consistent - evacuation is mandatory. Both a storm surge and hurricane watch have been issued for the state from Edisto Beach northward.

Gov. Henry McMaster ordered mandatory evacuations for some coastal counties (Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry) starting at noon on Tuesday. Edisto Beach is also part of the evacuation.

Highway lane reversals began at noon on Tuesday. For more information on evacuation routes and zones, click here.

Florence is currently a Category 4 hurricane and is expect to make landfall as such on Thursday. Expectations are that landfall will occur in North Carolina, but it's still too early to tell. Winds, rain, and storm surge are the biggest concerns right now.

As you prepare, you may find this info helpful:

Phone Numbers

  • Berkeley County's Helpline: (843) 719-4800
  • Charleston County's Citizen Info Line: (843) 746-3900
  • Dorchester County's Citizen Call Center: (843) 832-0393 and (843) 563-0393
  • South Carolina Emergency Management Division's public information hotline: 1-866-246-0133
  • North Charleston's Citizen Information Line: 843-740-2800
  • Red Cross: 1-800-RED CROSS
  • SCE&G: 1-888-333-4465 (for downed power lines and outages_
  • SCE&G: 1-800-815-0083 (for gas leaks)
  • 911 should only be used for true emergencies
    • Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch (for non-emergency concerns): 843-743-7200

Forecasts/Advisories

  • Up-to-date information can be found on the National Hurricane Center's website.
  • You can track the hurricane and its possible paths here.
  • Be careful when looking for info on social media
    • Check dates/times on social media posts as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram tend to post 'popular' posts in your feed that are many hours old. This will ensure you are getting the most up-to-date info on warnings and alerts.

Preparedness

  • Create an emergency kit
  • Have a family communication plan
  • Create an evacuation plan – where will you go, do they accept pets, how will you get there?
    • Make appropriate plans for your pets!
  • Check insurance coverage
  • Learn how to secure power, gas, and water utilities now
  • Fill prescriptions
  • Fill vehicles with fuel
  • Secure items in yard (trash/recycling and building openings and utilities
  • Consult this checklist
  • And this checklist too
  • Learn about evacuation routes, road conditions, information lines, and more here
  • Lowcountry sandbag locations
  • Charleston County's Citizen Information Line is open. Call 843-746-3900

Stories/Information

  • Shelters are now open. Click here for locations and information.
    • Remember to bring medication and comfort items (blankets, pillows, toiletries, food supplies, etc.)
    • Shelters don't supply food or cots
  • Beginning at 2 pm today, city parking garages, excluding the Gaillard Center garage, will be open for citizens to park their cars for free for the duration of the storm.
  • Officials say CARTA buses will be running on a normal schedule Tuesday. Buses will also begin running Emergency Circulator Service at noon on Tuesday. More information can be found on here.
  • Folly Beach to restrict access Wednesday to only residents, essential personnel.
  • If you are evacuating with a pet and have questions, click here
  • Click here for City of Charleston road closures
  • Click here or SCDOT traffic info
  • Both The State and the Post & Courier are offering full access to their respective websites for the duration of the storm.
  • Click here for a list of closures
  • U.S. Airlines Begin Waiving Change Fees
  • Cowburg Cow Status: Taken Down

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