Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Trump on Florence: "It's tremendously big and tremendously wet"

(He's not wrong)

Posted by Sam Spence on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 5:18 PM

Sitting in the Oval Office today, President Donald Trump warned the Southeast coast of the United States of America to be ready for a large, maybe unprecedented storm that's "tremendously big and tremendously wet."

But, I mean, he's not wrong. Florence was a strong category 4 storm when the National Weather Service issued their 5 p.m. update on Tuesday. Some 500 miles across, experts say. The latest track shows a probably landfall somewhere near the border between the Carolinas, and areas along the coast from Georgetown, S.C. to Duck, N.C. on the northern Outer Banks, are now under a hurricane warning.

The latest National Hurricane Center forecast shows the earliest that tropical storm-force winds could reach the Charleston area would be Thursday morning just before 8 a.m.

For full Florence coverage, continue visit charlestoncitypaper.com/florence.

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Florence-related flight cancellations have begun at Charleston airport

Departures

Posted by Lauren Hurlock on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 3:10 PM

INSTAGRAM @IFLYCHS
  • Instagram @iflychs

Charleston International Airport says it is anticipating having to close runways  Wednesday night as Florence approaches the Southeast.

Until now, Charleston International has been telling passengers to contact airlines regarding specific flight changes ahead of the storm.

But by Tuesday afternoon, some airlines, including Southwest, Frontier, JetBlue, United, and Alaska Airlines have announced plans to discontinue flights.

Here are the details so far...

Southwest: Ending flights at 1 p.m. Tuesday
Frontier: Ending flights Tuesday afternoon.
JetBlue: Ending flights at midnight Tuesday night
United Airlines: Ending flights Tuesday afternoon
Alaska Airlines: Ending flights Tuesday afternoon

Delta and American Airlines are continuing to monitor conditions.

Once the runways close, airlines and the businesses inside the airport will likely follow suit. The airport terminal building and parking deck will stay open, officials says.

If you need to get to the airport, customers are advised to take routes besides I-26.

Airlines may cancel, rebook, or change flights due to hurricane Florence at their discretion, so it is up to passengers to check with their airline about flight status.

This information may change, so for the latest information, visit iflychs.com.

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Xfinity opens 2,100 free wireless hotspots in Charleston ahead of Hurricane Florence

Here's how to use them

Posted by Adam Manno on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 2:54 PM

You now have no excuse to stop reading. - CARTA
  • CARTA
  • You now have no excuse to stop reading.
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Regardless whether you're a customer Xfinity is helping S.C. residents stay connected through Hurricane Florence.

The Philly-based Comcast subsidiary has opened nearly 7,000 hotspots in Augusta, Savannah, and Charleston, where 2,100 wireless networks have been opened to the public.

Once you're in the range of an "xfinitywifi" network, select the network name in your settings and launch a browser app on your phone, laptop, or tablet or wait for the pop-up log-in screen.

Existing customers can sign in with their username and passwords, while the rest of us (or if you just forgot your login) can tap the button indicating you are not a customer on the sign-in screen to get started, which will prompt you to enter your e-mail and zip code in order to start your session.

Xfinity says non-customer sessions can be renewed ever two hours. The hotspots will stay open until Mon. Sept. 17 at noon.

Get started by entering your zip code on Xfinity/Comcast's map.

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Emergency shelter info for Charleston-area residents during Hurricane Florence

Charleston does not have any "safe" shelters for Category 4 or 5 storms

Posted by Adam Manno on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 1:43 PM

South Carolina National Guard Soldiers deliver supplies to aid Hurricane Matthew in 2016 - NATIONAL GUARD FILE PHOTO
  • National Guard file photo
  • South Carolina National Guard Soldiers deliver supplies to aid Hurricane Matthew in 2016
Charleston County will not be operating any shelters during Hurricane Florence, which as of Tuesday morning, is a Category 4 storm with wind speeds of 130 miles per hour.

"We do not have safe shelter space for a Cat 4 or 5," said county spokesman Shawn Smetana in an email Tuesday afternoon.
The S.C. Emergency Management Division is updating its list of open shelters throughout the state here. As of Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., five shelters were open, including Westview Primary School in Goose Creek, Cane Bay High School in Summerville, and Dubose Middle School in Summerville.

Twenty-eight shelters with room for 25,000 people are expected to open for the storm statewide, said EMD Director Kim Stenson in a Tuesday morning press conference with Gov. Henry McMaster.

Berkeley County posted a list of open shelters on its Facebook page Tuesday morning. Goose Creek High School (1137 Red Bank Rd.) appears to be the only local shelter accepting residents from Charleston and Berkeley counties.

Dorchester County is now operating a pet-friendly shelter at DuBose Middle School (1005 Dubose School Rd.), which opened Tuesday at noon. The shelter accepts crated, domesticated animals. Other shelters may open if need arises. Check here for updates as other shelters open. Shelter transportation routes can be found here.
Those choosing to stay at shelters are encouraged to bring enough bedding and food for one day, along with any necessary medications and personal hygiene products.

If you're planning on riding out Florence in Charleston, the city will have self-serve sandbags available through Wed. Sept. 12 at the following locations: the old Piggly Wiggly site on Sumar Street (West Ashley), the Charleston Fire Station at 1985 Bees Ferry Rd. (West Ashley), the public service building at 2150 Milford St. (downtown), and James Island Town Hall at 1122 Dills Bluff Rd. (James Island).

Berkeley County sandbag distribution locations are available here. Dorchester's can be found here. Sandbags at all locations are subject to availability, so you may want to check city or county social media for more recent updates.

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UPDATED: What you need to know about I-26 reversals and closures ahead of Florence

Expect delays

Posted by Lauren Hurlock on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 12:25 PM

Crews work Tuesday to alter traffic patterns ahead of I-26 lane reversals - SCDOT
  • SCDOT
  • Crews work Tuesday to alter traffic patterns ahead of I-26 lane reversals
UPDATE: Per SCDOT, the I-26 lane reversals will end Thurs. at 6 p.m. Westbound I-26 will still be open, but east bound lanes will be closed.

On Monday, Gov. Henry McMaster announced eastbound lanes on I-26 would be reversed so the the estimated 1 million people ordered to evacuate can do so safely. But there's a little confusion about exactly what to expect if you're evacuating or just trying to get across town, so let's take a look. Pro tip: Check out 511sc.gov to get a look at how traffic is flowing on highways near you.

Here are the basics of what you need to know:
  • Expect delays.
  • No matter where you're trying to go, if you end up in the normal westbound I-26 lanes headed toward Columbia, the first exit you'll be able to get off is Ridgeville, about 20 minutes north of Main St. in Summerville. After that, the next exit is Orangeburg.
If you're trying to get around Charleston:
  • The short answer is: Avoid the interstate, especially outside I-526, take back roads.
  • I-26 lanes inside I-526 are open normally.
  • I-526 will be open with east and westbound lanes, however, you can only access the westbound lanes of I-26.
  • The lane reversal only affects I-26, so Hwy. 17, 61, 78, and any other main thoroughfares should have regular traffic patterns, but expect more traffic.
If you are evacuating:
  • Expect delays on I-26.
  • The lane reversal started at 11 a.m., an hour earlier originally announced.
  • Access to I-26 will be restricted to four access points meant for evacuees: the I-526/I-26 interchange, Ashley Phosphate, U.S. 78 interchange, and College Park Road.
  • If you get on I-26 in the reversed lanes, not all exits will be open. There will only be eight exits open between North Charleston and the Columbia area.
  • There will be some rest stops open along the way with mobile bathrooms open.

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