Five things you might want to know as Hurricane Irma crashes into the Southeast, affecting South Carolina:
What is closed?
Midlands schools and many government offices will be closed Monday. Other events or meetings scheduled for Monday or Tuesday have been canceled or postponed. A full list is here.
Many cities have canceled garbage collection for Monday, getting their trucks off the street, expecting dangerous conditions.
What will the weather be like here?
As of 11 a.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service office in Columbia was predicting 2 to 3 inches of rainfall Monday, with as much as 7 inches possible elsewhere in the state. Windspeeds could reach 60 mph in some places.
In the Midlands, the storm’s worst impact is expected starting Monday and going into Monday evening.
Should I stay home?
Not if you live on one of eight coastal islands ordered evacuated Saturday by S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster.
If you do need to get out, there is some good news on the state’s roads. The state Transportation Department reports that interstate highways are flowing. There were 15 percent more vehicles on the road Saturday than normal, but that was lighter traffic than earlier last week, when there was surge of drivers fleeing Florida and Georgia.
Are water and gas available?
Some stores ran out of items Wednesday or Thursday, when it looked like Irma would have a bigger impact on South Carolina. Some gas stations also ran short on fuel.
However, store shelves should be restocked by now, and brand-name gas stations also have a steady supply of fuel.
Are any shelters open locally?
Yes. One is open at Richland 2’s Dent Middle School. Lexington County’s White Knoll High School is also on stand-by for use as of Friday, and a Red Cross shelter opens at 5 p.m. Sunday at Camden High School.