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Richland County continues to monitor Hurricane Irma

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The latest track of Hurricane Irma has continued to shift westward, the National Weather Service in Columbia announced in its 11:30 a.m. briefing. The shift has taken much of the Midlands out of the cone of uncertainty, but NWS stressed that the track may still change.

NWS said preparations for tropical storms or hurricanes should continue. The latest forecast indicates a tropical storm threat for the Midlands on Monday and Monday night. Changes in track and intensity should be expected, as Hurricane Irma is still three days from impact on Georgia and South Carolina.

The University of South Carolina announced it would be closed Monday along with Richland County government offices. Both are expected to be opened 10 a.m. Tuesday. All events at USC planned for the weekend will continue.

Gov. Henry McMaster said in a press conference Thursday it’s likely schools and government offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday. With the number of people expected to be on the roads, McMaster said he would like to have the highways as clear as possible.

Richland County emergency officials and other department personnel are preparing for the potential of damaging winds, heavy rain and the risk of flooding.

  • The County has made arrangements with several agencies willing to provide safety. If needed, the following three American Red Cross shelters will open:
  • Dent Middle School, 2721 Decker Blvd., Columbia, 12 p.m. Saturday if needed
  • Ridge View High School, 4801 Hardscrabble Road, Columbia, 12 p.m. Sunday if needed
  • Dutch Fork High School, 1400 Old Tamah Road, Irmo, 12 p.m. Sunday if needed

                Nine additional community-based centers in Gadsden, Hopkins and Columbia are on standby to open if needed.

  • To report power outages, residents should contact their utility providers:
  • SCE&G, 888-333-4465
  • Fairfield Electric, 800-499-7862
  • Tri-County Electric, 803-353-8746
  • Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative, 803-749-6444 or 888-813-7000
  • Dominion Energy, 866-401-5248
  • To report downed limbs or debris affecting public roadways in Richland County, call the non-emergency number 803-576-3439. (The County cannot assist with debris on private property.)

The county’s Emergency Services Department is monitoring the storm and its potential impact on the Midlands and is keeping in contact with emergency officials across the state.

ESD will activate its Emergency Operations Center, the county’s central hub for emergency response activities, beginning today. For news and updates, follow Richland County on Facebook and Twitter by searching @RichlandSC. 

In Lexington County, the Emergency Operation Center has also partially activated and is monitoring development of Hurricane Irma.

A number of Midlands schools and businesses have already announced closings as of 1 p.m. Friday:


American Legion Post 15: Closed Monday

Camden American Legion Post 17: Sept. 11 meeting canceled

Color Fi: Closed Monday; Tuesday

Dunbar Funeral Home: Closed Saturday; no evening activities

SC State Credit Unions - All locations: Closed Monday

South Carolina Federal Credit Union - All Branches: Columbia Offices closed Monday, Tuesday

Sustainable Midlands: 2017 Midlands Farm Tour postponed



Branco Adult Daycare Center: Closed Monday



Bike with the Mayor: Event on Sept 11 canceled

Calhoun County Council: Monday's meeting canceled

Congaree National Park: Closing Saturday at noon.

SC Board of Pharmacy: Sept 13-14 meetings canceled

Orangeburg County Public Defender's Office: Closed Monday



Allendale District Schools: Closed Monday, Tuesday

Bamberg District 1: Closed Monday

Bamberg District 2: Closed Monday

Ben Lippen Schools: Closed Monday

Claflin University: All classes and activities canceled until further notice.

Clarendon Hall: Closed Monday; Tuesday

Columbia International University: Closed Monday

Gray Collegiate Academy: Closed Monday, Tuesday

Hooping for Hope Basketball Tournament: Canceled

Jefferson Davis Academy: Closed Monday, Tuesday

Laurence Manning Academy: Closed Monday, Tuesday

Orangeburg Consolidated District 4: Closed Monday, Tuesday

Orangeburg Consolidated District 5: Closed Monday, Tuesday

Orangeburg District 3: Closed Monday, Tuesday

Orangeburg Prep: All campuses closed Monday, Tuesday

SC State University: Residential halls closed at noon today, students encouraged to evacuate

Voorhees College: Closed Saturday until further notice

the Benedict College campus, Child Development Center, and Continuing Education Program will be closed on Monday, September 11th  and Tuesday.  September 12th.  Classes will resume Wednesday, September 13th at 8 a.m. 

The campus will reopen for returning students on Tuesday, September 12th at 4 p.m.

The cafeteria will operate on a weekend schedule on Monday and Tuesday. 

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