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News & Press: Industry News

Hurricane Matthew latest and evacuations

Tuesday, October 4, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Montgomery
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As a cautionary measure over Hurricane Matthew, Governor Nikki Haley has issued a State of Emergency for South Carolina and ordered an evacuation of the coast beginning at 3 PM Wednesday. The affected areas include Horry and Georgetown counties and the rest of the coast up to I-95.


Residents and travelers coming from coastal areas are already pouring into hotels across the state, particularly in the Midlands. Speaking with several hoteliers late Tuesday, there were already long lines of people checking in.


This is the hospitality industry's opportunity to welcome distressed travelers during a chaotic and scary time for them. Our industry answered the call during the historic flooding last October by taking in residents who lost their homes or were evacuated. The SCRLA encourages hotels to be as accommodating as possible, depending on evacuees' specific needs. One major concern of many evacuees if whether hotels will be able to accommodate their pets.


Many Columbia hotels still have reservations for Saturday's USC/UGA football game, which at this time, is still scheduled to play. That is affecting how many guests hotels can accommodate currently. If your hotel is at capacity, the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism recommends your refer travelers to other hotels' websites or online booking sites.


Also, with Governor Haley issuing a State of Emergency, price gouging laws go into effect.


With conditions and the storm's path still subject to change, these are the evacuation routes and plans as of this time. The following highways will have their lanes reversed during Wednesday's evacuation to direct traffic away from
the coast:


-  I-26 west to its interchange with I-77 in Richland County
-  U.S. 21
-  U.S. 278 and
-  U.S. 501 (tentative)

DOT plans to have water and comfort stations set up along these routes.

The forecast for Hurricane Matthew has tropical storm force winds arriving in South Carolina by 4 p.m. on Friday. The SCRLA is happy to assist you in any way.  Please reach out to us at (803) 765-9000. Link to SC Emergency Management Website to follow the latest on the storm.

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