Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has ordered an evacuation of much of the South Carolina coast because of the threat of Hurricane Matthew.
That means 1.1 million could ultimately be affected. That's a lot of people--so how will they be moved across the state?
The state will have lane reversals, and those that need to evacuate will know they need to leave if they're in certain 'zones.' Schools, county officers, and state offices in over half the state are being closed for the rest of the week to help ease congestion on the roads.
The evacuation for the Charleston and Beaufort County regions began Wednesday at 3 p.m. Evacuations for Georgetown and Horry County start Thursday morning.
Affected Zones in South Carolina:
Beaufort: Zone A, Entire county
Jasper: A and B
Colleton: A Only
Dorchester: B,D,E, and F
Berkeley: A,B,C,G, and I
Horry: A only
Georgetown: A only
LINK: SC Emergency Maps Showing Evacuation Zones (An embedded version of the map, where you can look up your location, is at the end of this article:
Prepare to evacuate: Residents preparing to evacuate tomorrow should become familiar with evacuation routes, which are marked with special signs. Consider where you will stay once you evacuate. Options include: a hotel, motel, or friend’s home that is outside the vulnerable area or an American Red Cross shelter. Hotels and motels fill up quickly and out-of-county evacuations take time. Emergency shelters will be announced as soon as they are open.
Fuel cars, keep supplies in vehicles, secure important documents: If the storm approaches South Carolina, individuals and families should fill up their cars with gas. Road maps, nonperishable snack foods, a first-aid kit that includes a supply of your family’s prescription medications, and convenience items such as diapers should be available in the car. Secure important documents in waterproof packaging.
Consider the safety of pets: Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters. Individuals and families should plan to board pets with veterinarians, kennels, or other facilities in non-vulnerable areas. Identification and rabies tags should be attached to the pets’ collars.
Hilton Head – One lane is reversed to create three lanes traveling west on US 278 at the intersection of the Spanish Wells Drive and Moss Creek Village Drive. This reversal is approximately two miles in length.
Beaufort – US 21 is reversed to create three lanes at US 21 Business and continues until US 17.
Charleston to Columbia – A full, four lane reversal on I-26 in Charleston begins at the interchange of I-26 and I-526. The full reversal continues west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County.
Horry County – Horry County has two, four lane reversals: 1) SC 544 to US 378 and 2) SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to SC 576 near Marion County.
School, County, State Offices Closing:
Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg. Those districts will be closed for the remainder of the week.
Fairfield and Lee Counties have also decided to close for the week. Newberry County schools closed early Wednesday.
In addition to the state offices, many local offices are closing, including the City of Columbia.
Below is the evacuation zone maps for South Carolina: (Having trouble seeing this? Click here)