Evacuation exercise planned for Monday

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is conducting a hurricane evacuation exercise on Monday to test lane reversal plans for all three major coastal areas of the state.

This hurricane evacuation exercise, which will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., is designed to test lane reversal plans for Interstate 26, US-21, US-278, US-501 and SC-544 in the event of a mandatory coastal evacuation order.

No traffic lanes will actually be reversed during the exercise, and officials say it should not interfere with the flow of traffic. Intersections will not be blocked, and motorists will be allowed to move freely.

However, the Highway Patrol cautions motorists traveling I-26, US-501, and SC-544 as well as US-278 to exercise caution and be aware that law enforcement officers and state personnel will be located on the shoulder of the highway and at exits.

The exercise will simulate reversal operations on US-278 and US-21. The deployment of equipment and personnel will be made on these roads leading out of Hilton Head and Beaufort. SCDOT equipment will be stationed US-278 from Almenda to Hampton in Hampton County.

Law enforcement personnel and traffic control devices will be deployed on I-26 from the intersection of I-526 and I-26 in Charleston to I-77 and I-26 in Columbia.

Traffic control equipment and personnel will be stationed on US-501 beginning at SC-544 and ending at US-378 as well as between SC-22 and the Marion By-Pass.

Aerial units from SLED, the Civil Air Patrol, South Carolina National Guard and the South Carolina Forestry Commission will be flying assigned aerial surveillance routes. SCDOT will also deploy Incident Response Vehicles.

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