Just as we predicted in our most recent post tracking the progress of Hurricane Irma, South Carolina emergency management officials announced their intention to begin reversing lanes on Interstate 26 within the next forty-eight hours. The decision comes as part of a coordinated effort to accommodate the rush of citizens evacuating the Palmetto State’s coastal areas in anticipation of Irma’s likely landfall there next week.
According to the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), both eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 will be reversed at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday – just as they were last fall prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew.
Additional lane reversals will be implemented on U.S. 501 coming out of Myrtle Beach, U.S. 21 in Beaufort and U.S. 278 departing Hilton Head Island.
The lane reversals are part of S.C. governor Henry McMaster‘s planned evacuation of the state’s coastal regions on Saturday morning – three days before current forecast models show Irma plowing into the Palmetto Lowcountry as a category three system.
According to the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT), roads in the Palmetto State “will face maximum capacity” as these Irma evacuations are effectuated.
At least South Carolina’s roads are in good shape right? Errr …
Former S.C. governor Nikki Haley reversed lanes on Interstate 26 last October – but then “unreversed” them two days later because hardly anyone was heeding her evacuation orders.
In other words, this could wind up being the first real test of whether these reversals work …
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