Boarding up Hurricane Dorian_1.jpg

Jim Barker, Murphy Stanford and Harold Ravenel with the city of Charleston were boarding up city buildings in downtown Charleston Sunday afternoon, Sept. 1, 2019. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

With a mandatory evacuation order in effect for South Carolina's eight coastal counties, all government offices and schools along the coast have been closed until further notice. 

City and county governments have been preparing for Hurricane Dorian's approach by distributing sandbags, opening shelters, closing facilities and updating residents on emergency preparations.

Here's what you need to know:

City of Charleston

  • Sandbags: As of Tuesday, sandbags will be distributed at five different locations. Residents should bring their own shovels to assemble the bags, and city staff will be available to help. Pickup locations are 14 Sumar St. (Old Piggly Wiggly site), West Ashley Park (3601 Mary Ader Ave.), James Island Town Hall (1122 Dills Bluff Road), Grace Bridge Street Parking Lot (5 Grace Bridge St.) and Volvo Car Stadium (161 Seven Farms Drive). There is a limit of 10 sandbags per car. 
  • Info line: The Charleston Citizens Services Desk is staffed to answer questions about the city's storm preparation. Call 843-724-7311.
  • Parking garages: Garages open for free parking during the storm are at the S.C. Aquarium, 24 Calhoun St.; Visitor Center, 63 Mary St.; 93 Queen St.;  35 John St.; Charleston Place, 85 Hasell St.; 1 Cumberland St.; 25 Prioleau St.; Majestic, 211 King St.; Marion Square, 399 King St.; Midtown, 558 King St.; 34 Saint Philip St.; West Edge; 99 West Edge St. The Gaillard Auditorium garage is reserved for city emergency personnel. 
  • More information: The city has a Hurricane Information page on its website. Updates have been posted on Twitter (@CityofCharleston) and Facebook (@CityCharleston).
  • Trash pickup: Scheduled pickups on Daniel Island and in outer West Ashley have been suspended. City crews have suspended services until the storm passes. Residents are reminded to clear the curb of garbage cans or bags.
  • Transportation: CARTA has suspended regular operations. A Hurricane Evacuation Peninsula Circulator will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

City of North Charleston

  • Sandbags: Sandbags began being distributed on Tuesday at the North Charleston Public Works Facility, 5800 Casper Padgett Way. A very limited quantity was available. Residents are limited to eight bags per household. North Charleston will resume sandbag distribution at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the same location.

  • Info line: A call line will be open for North Charleston residents. Call 843-740-5883 or 843-740-5887. 
  • Trash: Trash pickup has been suspended until further notice. 

  • More information: Updates have been posted on the city's Facebook page (@NorthCharleston) and Twitter (@NorthCharleston).

Town of Mount Pleasant

  • Sandbags: Sandbags are available in three locations. Each location will have about 325 pre-filled bags and a self-serve station. Bags will be distributed at Memorial Waterfront Park, R.L. Jones Recreational Complex and Park West Recreation Complex. There will be a limit of 10 bags per household.

  • Trash: Trash pickup has been suspended. 

  • Parking garages: The Portside Ferry Wharf Parking Deck, 75 Port City Landing, is available until 2 p.m. Sunday.
  • More information: Updates are posted on the city's website and on Twitter (@MountPleasantPD) and Facebook (@tompsc). 

Hurricane watch issued for SC coast, Dorian winds slow to 130 mph off Bahamas

Folly Beach

Hurricane Wire is a pop-up newsletter during hurricane season that delivers anyone who lives on the East Coast all the information they need to know as storms brew in the Atlantic and beyond.


  • Sandbags: Free sandbags can be picked up from the Public Safety parking lot on West Erie. Residents are asked to bring their own shovels and adhere to a 10-bag limit. No sand should be removed from the beach. 
  • Restricted access: A checkpoint is set up immediately after Bowen's Island Road. Residents and property owners will have to show two forms of identification showing residency or ownership. Employees of local businesses must have a reentry pass from the city and employee credentials. 
  • Info line: A Citizen Information Line is active from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 843-588-7006. 
  • Trash: Trash should not be put out until the storm passes. 
  • More information: Check the city's website and Facebook (@cityoffollybeach) for updates. 

Berkeley County

  • Sandbags: As of Tuesday, sandbags were still available at multiple distribution sites throughout the county. An interactive map was created to show the sites. View that map here. A list of distribution sites is also posted on the county's Facebook page.
  • Shelters: The county is expected to open shelters.
  • Info line: A residents' information line was opened Sunday. Residents should call 843-719-4800.
  • Trash: Convenience centers and the county landfill are closed. 
  • Courthouse: Circuit court is canceled all week. Family court is canceled through Thursday, and all offices in the courthouse are closed at least through Thursday. 
  • Animal shelter: The Berkeley Animal Shelter has temporarily stopped accepting animals. As of Tuesday, all animals that needed shelter during the storm have been taken in by volunteers. 
  • More information: Updates have been posted to the county website and its Twitter (@BerkeleySCGov) and Facebook (@BerkeleySCGov) pages. 

Charleston County

  • Info line: The county's Citizen Info Line was opened Sunday. Call 843-746-3900, or 843-746-3909 for the Spanish line.  
  • Sandbags: Residents of the St. Pauls Fire District (Edisto Island, Adams Run, Parkers Ferry, town of Hollywood, town of Ravenel and town of Meggett) can pick up sandbags at 6488 S.C. Highway 162 in Hollywood. There is a limit of 10 bags per household and a limited number of shovels will be available. 
  • Alerts: Charleston County residents can register for the Charleston County Citizen Alert System, a free program that sends voicemail, text message and email notifications about emergency situations. Register online
  • Shelters: The county has opened shelters in North Charleston at Coastal Pre-Release Center (pet-friendly shelter), 3765 Leeds Ave.; Military Magnet Academy, 2950 Carner Ave.; Stall High School, 3625 Ashley Phosphate Road; Jerry Zucker Middle School, 6401 Dorchester Road. 
  • Libraries: All Charleston County Public Library branches will be closed until further notice. The book drops will be closed, and patrons are asked to not leave items outside the book drop. 
  • Recycling: Curbside recycling services are suspended until further notice. The Bees Ferry Landfill and convenience centers also are closed. 
  • Bond court: A tentative schedule has been set for Wednesday (10 a.m. only), and a schedule for Thursday will be determined on Wednesday. 
  • More information: The current Charleston County Hurricane Guide is available online. Updates have been shared via Twitter (@ChasCountyGov) and Facebook (@ChasCountyGov). 

Dorchester County

  • Sandbags: Sandbags will be available for self-fill at six locations: Gahagan Park, Oakbrook Middle School, Dubose Middle School, Dorchester County Courthouse, Ridgeville Town Hall and Harleyville Town Hall.
  • Info line: A call center will be open for residents' questions. Call 843-832-0393 or 843-563-0393.
  • Trash: All Dorchester County convenience sites will be open Tuesday for normal operations. Residents are encouraged to take the opportunity to dispose of items before the storm.
  • Shelter: A pet-friendly shelter is open at DuBose Middle School, 1005 DuBose School Road in Summerville. Residents evacuating to a shelter should pack minimally, bringing only essentials such as bedding, personal hygiene products, a form of identification, all medications, important documents, a change of clothes, food and water for three to four days.
  • More information: Updates are being shared on the county website and on Twitter (@DorchesterSCGov) and Facebook (@DorchesterSCGov).

Reach Emily Williams at 843-937-5553. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

Emily Williams is a business reporter at The Post and Courier, covering tourism and employment. She also writes the Business Headlines newsletter, which is published twice a week. Before moving to Charleston, her byline appeared in The Boston Globe.

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