Florence kite Waterfront Park

Penelope Boyd, 4, of West Ashley chases a kite with her dad, Jason Boyd, Friday morning at Charleston's Waterfront Park. "We thought we'd enjoy it before it got worse," Boyd said. Dave Munday/Staff

If you're among the many who decided to stay in the town despite the threat of Florence, which made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane but was later downgraded to a tropical storm, here are a few things you might find to be helpful.


To put it simply, you’ll know when it’s not a good time to go outside anymore when the wind starts whipping trees and power lines around and some drenching rain starts to fall. Conditions are expected to worsen as we move into Saturday, and the rain is expected to continue through the weekend.

How much rain depends on where you live — less in downtown Charleston and more farther north. Flooding will occur if the rain continues for a few days, which is anticipated. If you drive up on some flooding, remember: "Turn around, don't drown."

For the latest forecast, check the National Hurricane Center at nhc.noaa.gov.

Power outages

Reports of power outages have already started to roll in. 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 sceg.com.

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

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


Most, if not all, municipalities have suspended trash and debris pickup until after the storm, except situations that endanger public safety. Residents are advised to make sure their trash cans are secured or put in a place where they won't be blown around by high winds.

Medical emergencies

You can try dialing 911, but your chance of getting an ambulance diminishes as storm conditions worsen. Hospital emergency rooms will continue to treat patients as staff is able. Most, if not all, neighborhood clinics are closed because of the evacuation.


Folly Beach and Horry County have announced curfews. Folly is under a curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. until further notice. Access to the island is limited to residents and property owners, who must show two forms of residency or proof of ownership. A curfew for Horry County is in effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county officials have said they were not planning to initiate curfews.


The roadways are back to normal — although traffic is much lighter than usual — on Interstate 26. The evacuation order remains in effect, but for those who are here it means you can head toward Charleston on the interstate again. The eastbound lanes were reversed on Tuesday for traffic leaving the city and were restored to westbound traffic Thursday night.

Bridges won't be safe to cross if winds get up around tropical strength, so you're better off not being on the roads.


Regular bus service ended Wednesday night. The latest updates from CARTA are at ridecarta.com/Florence, as well as on CARTA’s feeds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those with special needs can call the Charleston County Emergency Public Information Line at 843-746-3900 for transportation options.


Charleston International Airport officials were hoping to reopen for business at 6 a.m. Sunday, although that's not certain. The airport was shut down late Wednesday. Passengers are being advised to contact their air carrier for information on cancellations, for rebooking assistance and for information on travel waivers.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.