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Kim Deal an employee at Cos Bar sweeps debris out of her shop after opening back up on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 in downtown Charleston. Deal said they didn't have many customers because people are still getting into town after the hurricane. Andrew J. Whitaker/ Staff

So you evacuated and now you are headed back to Charleston with thousands of others returning home. Roads are likely to be crowded, lines long at the Charleston International Airport and even the buses may be carrying a heavy load.

It's time for a little patience as you head back in. 

Here's some information you will need coming back:


As of Sunday, roadways are back to normal on Interstate 26 and the lane reversal is a thing of the past. But there is still a lot of people making their way back evacuation as families head back for school and work on Monday. 

As of 3:30 Sunday, the traffic cameras on I-26 were showing moderate traffic, but getting heavier closer to Charleston. Check out traffic cams at

The S.C. Department of Transportation has asked that residents returning to the area remain patient and expect lengthy travel times, potentially blocked roadways or detours back to evacuated areas. Drivers should not go around barricades or use emergency lanes that are needed for first responders.

DOT has created a web map of weather-related road conditions that can help you plan your travel.

Driving into flooded waters is considered the most dangerous and potentially fatal acts in the post-hurricane period.

A passenger in a pickup truck was killed in Georgetown early Sunday morning when the driver hit water on a road, causing the vehicle to hydroplane and flip.


Florence is now a tropical depression and is expected to lift northwest into the Upstate and the North Carolina mountains late in the day, according to the National Weather Service. They are watching for rain in northeast Charleston County.

Also, the weather service says the potential for localized flash flooding appears to be southeast of Jamestown around McClellanville and the South Santee River area.

Trash and debris

The city of Charleston's residential trash and garbage pickup will resume on the normal schedule starting Monday. Throughout the week, crews will pick up all garbage and debris placed at the curb (excluding e-waste), even bags that do not fit in the cart.

The Bees Ferry Landfill and Charleston County Convenience Centers will be open on Monday. Curbside recycling will resume Monday on a normal schedule.

Residents in other areas should contact your municipality for more information.

Grocery stores and restaurants

The plywood is coming down as grocery stories reopen on their Sunday morning schedule, and restaurants restock to start serving customers. However, you might want to call ahead and see if your favorite business or restaurant has reopened before you head there. Also, stores are still restocking so your favorite adult beverage - people bought a lot of beer before the hurricane - may not be on the shelves yet. 


The runways at Charleston International were reopened to commercial flights Saturday.

Delta Air Lines planned a "few" flights on Saturday while a JetBlue Airways spokesman said the carrier planned to resume service Sunday.

Air carriers serving the Myrtle Beach International Airport have tentatively scheduled their flight operations to resume on Sunday.

It is recommended that departing passengers arrive at the airport earlier than normal to account for extra time that may be required at airline check-in and TSA checkpoint screening.

Passengers should contact their air carrier for information on cancellations, for rebooking assistance and for information on travel waivers.

CARTA buses

Regular bus service resumes on Sunday with the Sunday schedule. For route information and news about the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority, go to or CARTA's feeds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Services will be back to normal on Monday. 

Power outages

If you need to report an outage, how to do that depends on which utility supplies your electricity. Each of the utilities also has an outage map on its website where you can get updates.

• South Carolina Electric & Gas: Call the automated response line at 1-888-333-4465 or report online at

• Santee Cooper: Call 1-888-769-7688 or report online at

• Berkeley Electric Cooperative: Call 1-888-253-4232 or report online at

If you lost power and are using a generator, do not use it indoors. Running generators inside homes, garages or other enclosed areas can cause fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.

Flood stages

You may be hearing a lot about a specific river at "X" feet above flood stage.

But it's important to note that a flood stage is specific to a particular location on a river or stream and will vary from river system to another and even along the same river.

That means there is no universal flood stage point, meaning flood stage danger on the Ashley River in Charleston is different than flood stage danger on the Congaree in Columbia etc...

Each river in South Carolina is unique and has a different pre-set flooding definition point.

For example, the Little Pee Dee River on Sunday was flowing at 7.55 feet, according to a height gauge there.

Flood stage, or the point at which overflow damage might be seen, is at 9 feet on that gauge.

The river is forecast to reach 14.7 feet Friday morning, said Neil Dixon, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Charleston. 

At 12 feet, the river will affect 30 to 40 homes in the Fork Retch community near Nichols, he said, according to predetermined examinations, he said. Nichols is a town that has faced severe flooding in recent years.