Hurricane exercise testing effectiveness of evacuation route - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Hurricane exercise testing effectiveness of evacuation route

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- Law enforcement, highway patrol, and the EOC are joining forces in a hurricane exercise to make sure people in Horry County could get out safely during an evacuation.
 
People driving on Interstate 26, US 501 and SC 544 will see an increased number of police, orange cones and barricades in the medians of the road.
 
Officials say the test which lasts from 8:00 am until sometime this afternoon will not impede traffic for commuters.
 
The officials involved will be figuring out where to place wreckers, message boards, emergency personnel and other equipment along the evacuation route. It is a chance for everyone to check the communication between groups.
 
They will also evaluate how the lane reversal would work, but they want everyone to know the lanes will not be switched.
 
Highway Patrol says practicing helps in the event of a real effort. Highway Patrol Lance Corporal Sonny Collins says, "It's just a chance for us to look at this and make sure no adjustments need to be made for new roadways or different interchanges so the people of South Carolina, and the coast can rest assured that if a hurricane comes we are prepared all you have to do is follow the directions that we're giving you should that disaster be impending."
 
This is a yearly exercise that is checked periodically. Locals say they are confident an evacuation would be carried out in an orderly fashion.
 
Some visitors to the Grand Strand think otherwise. They say no matter how much planning goes on, an evacuation would be chaotic because of people's tendency to panic.
 
Carol Adasiak says, "I personally don't think it will be very effective because people do not obey rules. It's going to be total chaos. If there was to be a hurricane, I think everybody would just be going in total opposite directions."

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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