Hurricane evacuation drill held Tuesday

Emergency officials, local police agencies, the Department of Natural Resources and the SC National Guard are practicing how they would handle a hurricane evacuation in Horry County Tuesday.

The exercise allows participants to rehearse their roles in an evacuation, including how to reverse lanes of traffic to allow more lanes heading away from the beach. All traffic lanes will remain open during the exercise.

The Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation and other agencies are also taking part.

The exercise will help them manage resources to ensure highways 501 and 544 have adequate coverage in the event of a real hurricane, according to Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins of Highway Patrol.

The exercise simulates lane reversals on U.S. 278 and U.S. 21 along the south coast. Traffic control equipment and personnel will also be deployed on Interstate 26 leading from Charleston, as well as along U.S. 501 and S.C. 22 on the state's north coast.

The idea is to allow emergency officials to add more lanes of traffic leaving the coast in the event of an evacuation before an approaching storm.

The Associated Press contributed to this story