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 th and . . Classes will resume at
The campus will reopen for returning students on
The cafeteria will operate on a weekend schedule and Tuesday.