Charleston County’s new hurricane evacuation zones are: SC Climate and Environment News



South Carolina is updating its hurricane evacuation zones as it could be a very active season.

South Carolina Emergency Management Director Kim Stenson said the governor will continue to announce zone-based evacuations and evacuation routes will remain the same. This year, people may find themselves in a different zone.

He said this is the first time in about 10 years that the state has undertaken such a comprehensive evacuation zone update. As part of the update, the division has reduced its total evacuation area by approximately 250 square miles.

“The main thing we want to do is make sure people are not at risk,” Stenson said at a May 9 press conference. “At the same time, we want to make sure we don’t evacuate people who don’t need to be evacuated.”

'Brown ocean effect' reveals how mud affects hurricanes in South Carolina

Residents can find new shelter online at Stenson said physical maps are available at Walgreens, his coastal DMV offices and Interstate Welcome Centers. He said even people living further inland should take some form of storm preparedness.

“Coastal evacuations are likely in South Carolina this year, but that doesn’t mean hurricane impacts will be limited to the coast,” Stenson warned. “During one of these events, you could very easily see hurricane-force winds and unusual amounts of rain across the state.”

South Carolina Central Coast Evacuation Area

Hurricane evacuation zone on South Carolina’s central coast. For more information, please visit:

Residents can download the state’s emergency management app for more information, including evacuation zones, guides to emergency preparedness planning, and storm traffic information. Gov. Henry McMaster said residents should not rely on unverified social media claims during evacuations and should follow official sources of information.

“Someone will advise you to go this way or that way,” he said. “Half of the time, they’re wrong, and that’s what causes disaster.”

South Carolina's 'relatively quiet' hurricane season comes to an end


Forecasters predict the 2024 hurricane season could be a tough one for the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions. Recent record-high ocean temperatures can lead to more powerful tropical cyclones. Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that El Niño has a high chance (69 percent) of turning into La Niña by July. Cycles of warming and cooling in the Pacific Ocean can have a major impact on hurricane occurrence, with El Niño suppressing Atlantic hurricane activity and La Niña increasing hurricane activity.

Exact predictions on how active the season will be vary slightly. Researchers at Colorado State University predict that there will be a total of 23 named storms in the 2024 season, 11 of which will develop into full-blown hurricanes. Forecasters from the University of Pennsylvania predict between 27 and 39 named storms will form in the North Atlantic this season.

“During hurricane season, you can almost certainly expect some hurricane activity,” Stenson said.

Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean are rapidly gaining strength. How are local authorities responding?

The 2023 hurricane season saw 20 named storms in the Atlantic Basin, for a total of seven hurricanes. The only major threat to South Carolina was Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall in Florida as a Category 3 storm in late August, but weakened to a tropical storm by the time it hit Charleston. The storm coincided with the spring tides of a “blue moon,” so even though it was weakened, it flooded the city with one of the highest storm surges on record.

At the time, city officials said the storm taught residents an important lesson. Sea levels near Charleston are projected to rise by about a foot by 2050, meaning the threshold for flooding the city will become even smaller. It’s not a distant threat. Charleston experienced a record number of floods in 2023 that were rated as “moderate” or better by the National Weather Service. Rising sea levels also lead to higher water temperatures, and a study published in 2023 by Rowan University in New Jersey found that rising water temperatures can increase the speed at which tropical cyclones grow from small to large, prompting local emergency officials to It has been shown that preparation time can be reduced.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st and continues through November.

In 25 years, city leaders predict flood levels in Idalia will match Charleston's monthly high tide levels.

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