South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she plans to issue an evacuation order Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Matthew so that 1 million people can safely and comfortably leave the coast.
Haley said at a Tuesday news conference that she will finalize the order Wednesday morning, unless there is a major shift in the storm’s track. Haley says she expects the evacuation to begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation released the following information about the highways where lane reversals will be used as part of the coastal evacuation as Hurricane Matthew approaches the state.
- Hilton Head – One lane is reversed to create three lanes traveling west on US 278 at the intersection of the Spanish Wells Drive and Moss Creek Village Drive. This reversal is approximately two miles in length.
- Beaufort – US 21 is reversed to create three lanes at US 21 Business and continues until US 17.
- Charleston to Columbia – A full, four lane reversal on I-26 in Charleston begins at the interchange of I-26 and I-526. The full reversal continues west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County.
- Horry County – Horry County has two, four lane reversals: 1) SC 544 to US 378 and 2) SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to SC 576 near Marion County.
Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall urges drivers on all highways to drive with extreme caution during hurricane conditions, particularly those using reversed lanes to evacuate the coastal areas.
“The usual rules of the road are changed in reversed lanes. The reversals are designed to keep traffic flowing, however, traveling speeds will be slower than normal. Drivers need to pay extra attention while in reversed traffic,” said Hall.