The city of Charleston continues to operate at OPCON 1 with the Municipal Emergency Operations Center fully activated as officials prepare for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has ordered a mandatory evacuation for several areas of the state, including the entirety of Charleston County, beginning at 12 p.m. today.
In conjunction with this order, city of Charleston offices and facilities will be closed on Tuesday, September 3 and will remain closed until further notice. Personnel assisting with the city’s emergency operations will remain on duty throughout the duration of the storm.
All city of Charleston meetings, Municipal Court sessions and Recreation Department events and activities have been canceled. After the storm has passed, information regarding rescheduling will be released.
The city will open the following parking garages for residents to park their cars for free during the storm:
- Aquarium parking garage (24 Calhoun Street)
- Visitor Center parking garage (63 Mary Street)
- Queen Street parking garage (93 Queen Street)
- Camden/Exchange parking garage (35 John Street)
- Charleston Place parking garage (85 Hasell Street)
- Concord/Cumberland parking garage (1 Cumberland Street)
- East Bay/Prioleau parking garage (25 Prioleau Street)
- Majestic parking garage (211 King Street)
- Marion Square parking garage (399 King Street)
- Midtown parking garage (558 King Street)
- Saint Philip Street parking garage (34 Saint Philip Street)
- 99 West Edge parking garage (99 West Edge Street)
Garage openings are for cars only, and do not apply to boats or trailers. The Gaillard Center parking garage will be reserved for emergency personnel.
Charleston City Council will hold a telephonic meeting at 1:30 p.m. today to discuss updates related to Hurricane Dorian and its potential impacts to the Charleston area. The dial-in number for the meeting is 1-800-747-5150 and the access code is 5777434.
With the Governor’s evacuation order, Carolina Waste and Republic Services, the city’s garbage and trash collection contractors, have begun evacuations. As a result, collection on Daniel Island and in outer West Ashley has been suspended. In preparation for possible flooding related to storm surge, city crews will run their Monday routes on Tuesday. After that, all garbage and trash collection will be suspended throughout the city until further notice.
Citizens are reminded to clear any garbage cans or bags from the curb prior to evacuating, as these items are likely to block storm drains and inhibit drainage if left out during the storm.
Sandbag distribution began at 8 a.m. this morning and is ongoing at the following self-serve locations:
- 14 Sumar Street (Old Piggly Wiggly site)
- West Ashley Park, 3601 Mary Ader Avenue
- James Island Town Hall, 1122 Dills Bluff Road
- Grace Bridge Street Parking Lot, 5 Grace Bridge Street
- Volvo Car Stadium, 161 Seven Farms Drive
Residents should bring their own shovels for assembly. Staff are on-site to provide assistance, as needed.
A limit of 10 sandbags per car applies to all residents visiting these locations. To purchase additional sandbags, citizens should contact a local home hardware store.
Throughout the day, the city’s Stormwater Department will continue to perform pre-storm preventative maintenance on storm drains and ditches. Temporary pumps have been secured and will be staged in low-lying areas prone to flooding.
Parks Department staff will continue the process of securing city buildings throughout the day today and lowering water levels in Colonial Lake and Lake Dotterer as the tide cycles allow. Crews will also work to secure any loose items in city parks and remove trash can liners and loose lids.
In order to minimize damage, contractors will work in the coming days to remove walkways to floating docks at Waterfront and Demetre Parks. All city Capital Projects contractors have been notified to secure their project sites prior to the storm.
The Charleston Fire Department is working with the city’s department of Housing and Community Development and the Charleston Housing Authority to ensure that information regarding the storm and the Governor’s evacuation order is distributed to all citizens. As part of this process, teams are moving door-to-door notifying residents of mobile homes and other vulnerable areas.
The city of Charleston Citizen Services Desk is staffed to answer citizens’ questions about storm preparations and can be reached at 843-724-7311. Residents are also encouraged to review the city’s Hurricane Information webpage, which can be accessed at http://www.charleston-sc.gov/hurricane-information.
City officials will remain in close communication with Charleston County and other local agencies throughout the weekend, and will continue to receive regular updates from the National Weather Service regarding the storm’s track and potential local impacts.
For the most accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts, residents should stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service Charleston websites, as well as local media. Additional hurricane preparedness information can be found at www.scemd.org.