South Carolina hurricane evacuation drills to take place along Highways 501, 544

Hurricane evacuation route in South Carolina
Hurricane evacuation route in South Carolina(Gray)
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 1:34 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – Agencies across South Carolina are taking part in a full-scale hurricane evacuation drill on Thursday.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, along with other state and local agencies will test lane reversal plans for all three major coastal areas, including the Grand Strand.

SPECIAL SECTION | WMBF First Alert Hurricane Center

The exercise will last from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will test lane reversal plans along Highways 501 and 544.

No lanes will be closed during the drill and will not interfere with the flow of traffic.

Traffic control equipment and personnel will be stationed on Highway 501 beginning at Highway 544 and ending at Highway 378, Highway 22 and the Marion Bypass.

“Preparing for a hurricane evacuation is not just an exercise; it is a crucial commitment to safeguarding lives and communities,” said SC Emergency Management Division Director Kim Stenson. “By practicing and refining our agencies’ response plans, we ensure when a storm arrives, we are as ready as possible to implement those plans swiftly and effectively as one team.”

Aerial units from the South Carolina National Guard, the Civil Air Patrol, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Forestry Commission will be flying assigned aerial surveillance routes during the drill.

Drivers are asked to be aware of law enforcement officers and other personnel who are performing the drill. They will be located on the shoulder of the highway and at exits.