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How safe is it to drive in the Midlands on Sunday?

Electrical crews remove damaged power lines and poles after Hurricane Matthew hit the Lowcountry.
Electrical crews remove damaged power lines and poles after Hurricane Matthew hit the Lowcountry.

Tropical Depression Florence has been slowly working its way through the Midlands over the past day and is expected to continue its path into Sunday afternoon, but Midlands roads suffered little, according to the latest updates from SCDOT and county officials.

I-95 is closed in both directions from exit 181 (SC-38) to exit 190 (SC-34) because of flooding. Other than that, initial maps show just four road closures, all in Lexington County.

Ervin Price Road southwest of Lake Murray is closed in both directions from Beulah Church Road to Shore Road because of a tree that fell and downed power lines.

Wessinger Road in northwest Lake Murray is closed because of a downed tree and power line.

Jones Wire Road, a dirt road in Swansea, was closed off between Swansea and Whetstone Road and deemed “impassable” on Saturday because of the possibility of vehicles getting stuck in the mud. Public Works will reopen the road once the mud hardens and it is safe for vehicles again.

Senterfeit Road was closed Sept. 12 from 661 Senterfeit to Bright Leaf Road, when the county began a “slow breach” of a private pond, and the road has yet to reopen. Senterfeit Road is a dirt road and was also affected by the rains. It will reopen once Public Works indicates it is safe enough to drive on, Cahill said.

Over the weekend, 26 Lexington County-maintained roads were closed and reopened due to the storm.

Despite minimal damage to roads, officials warn drivers should be watchful, because Florence will continue to bring rain and wind to the Midlands for the rest of the day Sunday. These conditions could cause trees, tree limbs and power lines to fall.

“It is safe to move about the county. People should just exercise caution because these winds can still bring down trees,” Lexington County spokesperson Harrison Cahill said.

Both Richland and Lexington county officials are asking that drivers not move or drive around road barricades. And don’t rush, said Derrec Becker, spokesperson for SC Emergency Management Division.

“It’s rainy, it’s stormy. We just ask that folks give themselves plenty of time to get where they’re going,” he said.

Drivers should avoid flood-prone streets and report downed power lines and downed trees that are blocking streets, as well as flooded roadways to 911. Locals can also report damage through the South Carolina Emergency Manager app.

Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Florence

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