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Hurricane Dorian prompts several Midlands schools to close on Thursday out of caution

National Weather Service Meteorologist says Hurricane Dorian will inundate SC coast with life-threatening flash flooding

National Weather Service Meteorologist John Quagliariell says Hurricane Dorian will inundate the SC coast with a storm surge of 4 to 7 feet. South Carolina, though, will not see the same long-duration river flooding seen with Hurricane Matthew.
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National Weather Service Meteorologist John Quagliariell says Hurricane Dorian will inundate the SC coast with a storm surge of 4 to 7 feet. South Carolina, though, will not see the same long-duration river flooding seen with Hurricane Matthew.

Several Columbia area schools will be closed on Thursday out of concerns about the powerful weather brought to the Midlands by Hurricane Dorian.

Late Wednesday afternoon, multiple school districts in Richland and Lexington counties announced there will be no classes. They join about a dozen other districts across South Carolina that have already cancelled classes.

Among the Midlands school districts that will be closed Thursday are:

Richland One

Richland Two

Lexington One

Lexington Two

Lexington Three

Lexington 4

Lexington-Richland Five

Sumter County schools

Fairfield County schools

Kershaw County schools

“In an abundance of caution, Lexington County School District One is canceling school,” district officials said in a news release. “Expected wind gusts of over 30 miles per hour throughout the afternoon Thursday could create conditions that would be unsafe for school buses, student drivers, parents and staff.”

Richland Two issued a similar statement, adding “all schools and offices will be closed, and all before-school and after-school activities and all district activities are canceled.”

In addition to classes, Richland One said after school programs and activities, including athletics games and practices, are canceled. That also includes the postponement of Richland One’s College and Career Fair, which was scheduled for Thursday at the Carolina Coliseum, school officials said in a news release.

Lexington One, Lexington Three and Richland Two similarly reported all after school activities have also been cancelled.

No plans for Friday’s classes have been made, Richland One officials said.

“Lexington County School District Three’s highest priority every single day is the safety of our students and staff,” officials said in a news release.

In eight of South Carolina’s coastal counties — Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry and Jasper — all state government offices and schools already have closed. For a list of updated state closings, click here.

Hurricane Dorian is forecast to bring heavy rain and powerful wind to the Midlands, beginning Wednesday night and through Thursday.

Bamberg, Orangeburg, Calhoun, Clarendon, Sumter, and Lee counties are all under a tropical storm warning, according to the National Weather Service.

This is a developing story, check back for more updates.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and state officials held a media briefing Monday, September 2 at 2:00 PM.

Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Dorian

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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