Storm Evacuation Information

April 11, 2017, 11:18 am EST | Share:

If the order is given to evacuate, it is important to know where to go and what to do. If a storm is approaching and watches or warnings have been issued, state and local leaders will give an order to evacuate ahead of the storm. It is important to leave right away so you are not stuck in traffic. Often times the South Carolina governor will call for a lane reversal on I-26, which means all lanes will be turned into evacuation lanes heading out of harm’s way.


If you have no transportation but need help getting to an emergency shelter, simply look for the blue hurricane evacuation bus stop sign in your area. CARTA buses and local school buses will pick you up and transfer you to the nearest storm shelter. CARTA will transport the disabled and those who are evacuating with pets.


Evacuation routes are often issued for specific areas, depending on the type and strength of storm. It is important to know your evacuation zone.


Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley County Evacuation Zones:

Zone A: West of the Ashley River — Unincorporated areas of Charleston County from the Ashley River to the Colleton County line; Atlantic Ocean to the Dorchester County Line. This includes the Town of Hollywood, Town of Meggett, Town of Ravenel, City of Folly Beach, Town of Rockville, Town of Kiawah Island, the Town of Seabrook Island, James Island, Johns Island, Wadmalaw, and unincorporated Charleston County.

Zone B: Central Charleston — From the tip of the Peninsula to Ladson Road; from the Ashley River to the Wando River. This includes City of Charleston, City of North Charleston, the Town of Lincolnville, Daniel Island, Thomas Island, and unincorporated Charleston County.

Zone C: East of the Wando River — Unincorporated areas of Charleston County from the Atlantic Ocean to the Berkeley County line; Wando River to the Georgetown County line. This includes the Town of Mount Pleasant, Town of Isle of Palms, Town of Sullivan’s Island, Town of Awendaw, the Town of McClellanville, Dewees Island, Capers Island, and Goat Island.

Zone D: Tidal River and Creeks/Southern Swamps – All properties along the Ashley River between Ashley River Road and Dorchester Road, from the Charleston County line to Bacons Bridge Rd. Properties that front the Sawmill Branch from Dorchester Road to Luden Road including Arbor Oaks, Sawbranch Apartments, Millbrook Apartments, and Creekside. Properties near Eagle Creek between Ladson Road and Parlor Road from Dorchester Road to the Charleston County line. Southeast portions of the county in the vicinity of Bear Swamp, Horse Savannah Swamp, Fishburne Creek, and Rantowles Creek including the Poplar Grove Community. All residents living in flood-prone areas or mobile/manufactured homes. (Zone D may be triggered by Charleston County’s decision to evacuate Zone A.)

Zone E: Sand Hills/North Charleston/Wescott/Oakbrook/Miles Jamison Areas – Properties east of US Highway 17A to Dorchester Road including Summers Corner and Clubhouse Crossroads. Properties east of Orangeburg Road and South of Miles Jamison Road to the Charleston County line including South Main Mobile Home Park, Newington Plantation, Woodland Estates, Oakbrook, Wood Oak Park, Wescott, and the City of North Charleston in Dorchester County. All residents living in flood-prone areas or mobile/manufactured homes.

Zone F: The Cypress Swamp – Areas near the Cypress Swamp, the Edisto River, the Twin Lakes subdivision, and portions of The Ponds subdivision. All residents living in flood-prone areas or mobile/manufactured homes. (This zone will be triggered depending on storm category and landfall location.)


Many in the Lowcountry have not had to evacuate before, and those routes can be a little tricky.

In red, we have the interstates, I-26 and I-95. Everyone knows these routes, but you may want to avoid those because of heavy traffic.

In yellow we have the state highway system. For people on Edisto Beach and Johns Island, you can take Highway 64 west from Ravenel.

From West Ashley you can take Highway 61 west, and those living East of the Cooper, you can take Highway 41 north.

There’s also the U.S. Highway system in blue.

U.S. 78 will take you from North Charleston through Ladson and Summerville.

Then there’s Highway 176 west from Goose Creek or you can take U.S. 52 north from Goose Creek.

For more information on evacuation routes visit the South Carolina Emergency Management website here.

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