CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A full-scale hurricane evacuation exercise will take place along I-26 and other routes Thursday as agencies test the state’s lane reversal process.

In Charleston, lane reversal now begins at the intersection of the 197 mile marker at Nexton Parkway and Interstate 26. The lane reversal was moved further up the interstate in 2020 to lessen the impact on traffic in the tri-county area, specifically the I-26/I-526 interchange.

While traffic will not be impacted during Thursday’s drill, law enforcement personnel and equipment will be staged along the evacuation route during the hours-long exercise. Motorists are encouraged to use caution and travel safely.

“Preparing for a hurricane evacuation is not just an exercise; it is a crucial commitment to safeguarding lives and communities,” said SC Emergency Management Division Director Kim Stenson. “By practicing and refining our agencies’ response plans, we ensure when a storm arrives, we are as ready as possible to implement those plans swiftly and effectively as one team.”

In addition to I-26, the reversal exercise will also include US 21, US 278, US 501, and SC 544.

The exercise begins at 8:00 a.m. and lasts through 3:00 p.m.