COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lane reversals will continue on Interstate 26 until officials no longer feel it's necessary or conditions are unsafe for troopers to be out.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol reversed traffic east-bound on I-26 starting Monday morning because of Hurricane Dorian. Troopers began closing off traffic and exits at 5 am. By noon, traffic was reversed from Charleston heading up to Columbia.
Trooper David Jones says they're doing everything they can to help make things easier for those traveling.
"We know that as long as they evacuate and come up here, at least we know their life is protected," said Trooper Jones.
With Governor Henry McMaster's order of evacuating the coast, thousands of vehicles have hit the road. Combining evacuees with Labor Day traffic makes for heavy traffic on the interstate.
Some drivers have even cross the median to get from one side to the other because of the congestion of traffic. Troopers say it's against the law.
Traffic patterns go back to normal once drivers get to the interchange of I-77 and 26.
"It's refreshing to see people heed the warning and come to the Midlands and seek shelter," explained Trooper Jones. "If you would need us, *47 calls us directly. No matter what the issue is, call us, you'll talk to a dispatcher, and they'll let us help you."
Trooper Jones says they'll remain out there until the reversal is no longer necessary or it's not safe for troopers to be out there.
"Welcome these evacuees with open arms they're already dealing with the stress of leaving their home and valuables back at the coast," said Trooper Jones. "They'll come in here. They're going to be sharing our restaurants. They're going to be sharing our hotels. They're going to be sharing our roads so pack your patience."