Tuesday, September 3, 2019
This page will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
Hurricane approaching eastern coast of United States
If you have questions about Hurricane Dorian or need assistance, please visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division at www.scemd.org.
With Hurricane Dorian approaching the South Carolina coast, DHEC is actively working to prepare for the storm. This website will be updated throughout the storm. For tips, please visit our hurricane preparedness page.
- As of Sept. 3, 221 DHEC staff across the state are mobilized for storm preparation and response efforts.
Health Care Facilities
On Sept. 1, 2019, the Governor issued a Mandatory Medical Evacuation Order for health care facilities regulated by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in the evacuation zone. DHEC is currently in communications with all 175 health care facilities impacted by the mandatory medical evacuation order, including:
- 13 hospitals
- 25 nursing homes
- 92 assisted living facilities
4 hospitals have closed or are in the process of closing: (1) Hilton Head Hospital, (2) Encompass Health Rehab Hospital of Bluffton, (3) Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health, (4) Vibra Hospital of Charleston.
9 hospitals have been granted exemptions from mandatory medical evacuations, allowing them to remain open for emergency medical services.
Due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian, along with the possible interruption of services and communications that may follow throughout South Carolina, the DHEC Bureau of Drug Control has authorized a one-time early refill of Schedule III-V prescriptions for valid refills that are due within the next seven days.
Requirements and information for Schedule III-V, as well as Schedule II substances, may be found on our Authorization for Emergency Dispensing page.
Special Medical Needs Shelters
During times of emergency, DHEC operates Special Medical Needs Shelters to provide shelter for people whose medical conditions exceed the capabilities of the Red Cross shelters, but are not severe enough to require a hospital stay. We do not provide health care services in those shelters. As of Sept. 3, there are 4 shelters open and 20 shelters on standby.
A CodeRed notification was delivered to dam owners and operators just before 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. The message was sent to all dam owners located in areas of concern based on predicted rainfall of five inches or more over a 24-hour period. Those areas included Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dillon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Marion, and Williamsburg counties.
DHEC previously communicated with dam owners and operators of reservoirs to check their dams and take appropriate steps to evaluate if they should begin safely lowering water levels through the next several days in preparation for potential problems caused by heavy rainfall from Hurricane Dorian.
As of Sept. 3, DHEC staff are conducting pre-storm dam assessments. Seven DHEC teams are assessing 22 dams currently predicted to receive five inches or more of rain:
- 9 in Horry County
- 5 in Berkeley County
- 3 in Williamsburg County
- 2 in Dorchester County
- 1 in Marion County
- 1 in Charleston County
- 1 in Georgetown County
For a complete list of these dams and their classifications, click here.
Understanding Dam Classifications
Unless exempted by law, dams regulated by DHEC are classified based on size and hazards, and must meet one of the following criteria:
- 25 feet in height
- impounds (holds back) 50-acre feet or more of water
- classified as a high-hazard dam, regardless of size
Hazard classification applies to the potential loss of human life or property damage in the event of failure or improper operation of the dam or connected works. The classifications are:
- High-hazard (C1): failure will likely cause loss of life or serious damage to infrastructure.
- Significant-hazard (C2): failure will not likely cause loss of life but may damage infrastructure.
- Low-hazard (C3): failure may cause limited property damage
If you have a concern about a dam that may have been impacted by the storm, please call DHEC at (803) 898-1939.
Coastal Resources and Sandbags
DHEC has issued blanket emergency orders to local governments to allow property owners along the immediate beachfront to conduct sand scraping or install sandbags to provide temporary protection from anticipated wave uprush from the storm. More information, as well as copies of the orders can be found here.
DHEC has asked local governments along the coast to provide updates on beachfront erosion and damage through our MYCoast application.
Petroleum Distribution Terminals
To facilitate the distribution of fuel across the state due to evacuations, DHEC requested and received a No Action Assurance letter from EPA. This helps ensure the availability of tanker trucks to be able to provide an adequate supply of fuel to areas impacted by mandatory evacuations. This action reassures the petroleum industry that EPA is using its discretion not to pursue enforcement for certain provisions related to loading of tanker trucks related to tank tightness and documentation.
DHEC Office Closures
DHEC follows the closings and delays of county offices. . The latest information on delays and closures can be found at https://www.scemd.org/closings or on local media.