American Society of Civil Engineers


Emerging Hurricane Evacuation Issues: Hurricane Floyd and South Carolina


by Kirstin Dow, (Hazards Res. Lab., Dept. of Geography, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208. E-mail: Kirstin-Dow@SC.edu) and Susan L. Cutter, (Hazards Res. Lab., Dept. of Geography, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208. E-mail: Scutter@SC.edu)

Natural Hazards Review, Vol. 3, No. 1, February 2002, pp. 12-18, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1527-6988(2002)3:1(12))

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: A survey of coastal South Carolina residents addressed the role of household decisions in amplifying demand on transportation infrastructure during 1999’s Hurricane Floyd evacuation. The evacuation rate averaged 65% (±4.2%) in coastal evacuation areas. Three major findings reveal that traffic problems are becoming a major consideration in whether people evacuate. How they evacuate is emerging as an issue for evacuation traffic planning. First, about 25% of households took two or more cars. Nearly 50% of evacuees left in one 6-h period. Major traffic pressure developed on the Interstate system, particularly Interstate-26. Second, while the majority of respondents carried road maps, only 51% of that group used them to determine their route. Many decided to stay on the Interstate despite the congestion. Finally, the majority of South Carolinian residents traveled distances greater than necessary for safe sheltering and more than in past hurricanes. Transportation issues will become more important in coastal evacuations as traffic problems impinge on peoples’ ability to get out of harm’s way and ultimately influence their decisions to evacuate.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Emergency management
Evacuation
Hurricanes
South Carolina