Hurricane evacuation exercise set for June 25
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Hurricane evacuation exercise set for June 25

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Hurricane traffic

Eastbound lanes of traffic on Interstate 26 were reversed Oct. 5, 2016, to aid in the evacuation of the South Carolina coast ahead of Hurricane Matthew.

COLUMBIA - The South Carolina Department of Public Safety, in conjunction with a number of other state and local agencies, will conduct a hurricane evacuation exercise on Thursday, June 25, to test lane-reversal plans for all three major coastal areas of the state.

Hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. No traffic lanes will actually be reversed during this exercise. The exercise will last from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The hurricane evacuation exercise is designed to test lane reversal plans for Interstate 26, U.S. 21, U.S. 278, U.S. 501 and S.C. 544 in the event of a coastal evacuation order. Personnel and equipment from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardons, the South Carolina Forestry Commission, the Civil Air Patrol and the South Carolina Army National Guard will participate in the exercise.

 The exercise will simulate reversal operations on U.S. 278 and U.S. 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 on U.S. 278 from Almeda to Hampton in Hampton County.

Law enforcement personnel and traffic control devices will be deployed on Interstate 26 from the intersection of the 197 mile marker (Nexton Parkway) and I-26 in Charleston to I-77 and I-26 in Columbia.

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

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

The exercise 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, U.S. 501, and S.C. 544 as well as U.S. 278 and U.S. 21 to exercise due caution and be aware that law enforcement officers and state personnel will be located on the shoulder of the highway and at exits.

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