The S.C. Department of Transportation began monitoring Hurricane Irma over the Labor Day weekend and SCDOT Maintenance forces began the first steps in making storm preparations on Tuesday as the storm moved closer to the United States.
SCDOT crews in all 46 counties are inspecting equipment, checking the inventory of supplies such barricades, cones and replacement traffic signals.
Coastal counties use these items to set up lane reversals and evacuation routes. All counties have a 10-day fuel supply for equipment and vehicles.
Crews are inspecting low-lying areas that are prone to flooding. Drainage systems are being checked to make sure they are clear. Generators are in place to provide emergency power to critical facilities such as traffic management centers that monitor traffic through traffic cameras and other systems.
SCDOT traffic engineers are monitoring interstate traffic as Florida and Georgia residents may travel north to avoid the path of the hurricane should it take that route.
The staff at SCDOT Headquarters offices are taking steps in anticipation of supporting the field crews with supplies and whatever is needed. Preparations are being made to inform the public of road conditions through the web and SCDOT’s Customer Service Call Center in the event this information is needed.
SCDOT Deputy Secretary for Engineering Leland Colvin said all actions are preliminary.
“These are the normal processes we would begin should any emergency arise. SCDOT wants to be prepared as much as possible, particularly when conditions could change rapidly. We have to expect the unexpected,” said Colvin.
SCDOT encourages the public to monitor the situation on the 511 Traveler Service: www.511sc.org.