COLUMBIA, S.C. – Millions of residents in the Carolinas are preparing for Florence as it prepares to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. Sioux Falls-native and O'Gorman graduate Jordan Thie is right in the middle of the storm's path in Columbia, South Carolina.
As communities along the east coast evacuate in advance of Hurricane Florence, Jordan Thie is in the path of the storm in Columbia. That's 150 miles west of Myrtle Beach.
"We're really hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. We'll deal with what comes," Thie said.
Thie works for Communities In Schools Of the Midlands. He says classes are canceled for the week at local schools and the University of South Carolina.
"We have about a million evacuees coming through here. They just want people off the road. They want people preparing and just taking care of their business before this starts to roll through," Thie said.
"I think people are worried. In 2015 we had a pretty major flood event here. People were without water for a couple weeks. A bunch of dams breached. You can kind of feel that in the air right now," Thie said.
Thie had to make several stops at local grocery stores as he tried to stock up on water this week. He says people are taking extra precautions.
"Filling their bathtub up with water so they have it and making sure they have cell phone chargers and radios if the cell phone towers get down. People are a little worried but hopeful that it won't be as bad as we're expecting," Thie said.
With Hurricane Florence expected to affect South Carolina later this week, organizations in Columbia and around the Midlands are announcing closings, cancellations and changes of plans.
If you know of any closings, cancellations, delays or other information you think should be on this list, please write to [email protected]
▪ S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the closure of schools in 26 counties during a Monday afternoon press conference. Tuesday, McMaster narrowed that scope to 18 counties. Schools will be closed in the following counties:
▪ Newberry County schools will operate on an emergency release schedule Friday, with elementary schools releasing at 11, and middle and high schools letting out at 11:30 a.m.
▪ The Charter Institute at Erskine closed all six schools, including Costal Leadership Academy, Gray Collegiate Academy, Mevers School of Excellence, Oceanside Collegiate Academy, Royal Live Oaks Academy and Virtus Academy of South Carolina, according to a statement.
▪ Lexington-Richland 5 School District offices, events including athletic events, adult education classes and other after school activities are canceled until further notice, according to a statement from the district.
▪ Lexington 2 School District offices will close, including all activities, athletic events, after-school programs, according the district.
▪ Lexington 1 is canceling all meetings and events, including programs, athletic practices or events, adult education classes, or extra-curricular activities through Friday, according to a statement from the district.
▪ The University of South Carolinas campus in Columbia will be closed through Monday, but essential student services including housing, food service and the Student Health Center will continue to operate, according to a statement from the university.
▪ Columbia College will close, according to a statement. Dining halls and residence halls will remain open, but the Terrace Cafe will close.
▪ Claflin University closed, according to a statement. Evening classes and activities were canceled. The university will continue to house students from South Carolina State University and all students will be required to evacuate from residence halls.
▪ Limestone College is canceling classes for the remainder of the week for Aiken, Charleston, Columbia, and Florence, according to a tweet from the college.
▪ Richland County offices will be closed Friday and Monday before resuming on Tuesday, according to a tweet.
▪ Richland County Landfill Drop-off Center, 1070 Caughman Road North; the Lower Richland Drop-off Center, 10531 Garners Ferry Road; and the Clemson Road Drop-off Site, 900 Clemson Road are closed through Monday.
▪ The Lexington County Public Library branches will close Friday at 5 p.m., according to a statement from Lexington County. The libraries will remain closed Saturday.
▪ Lexington County solid waste recycling & collection centers will be closed Friday at 5 p.m. and will remain closed Saturday
▪ The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will close Friday, according to a Tweet from the zoo. The zoo will reopen to visitors Monday.
▪ Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center will be closed Friday, according to a statement from the center.
▪ The Lexington Pediatric Practice will be closing both locations on Friday at noon, according to a statement from the office. The office will remain closed Saturday and will open with a two hour delay Monday.
▪ West Columbia is closing the Wyman M. Mac Rish Riverwalk and Amphitheater on Thursday, according to a statement.
▪ Orangeburg County offices will close Wednesday, according to a statement from the county administrator.
▪ Sumter city offices will close until further notice, according to a statement from the Sumter Police Department.
▪ The United States Department of Agriculture Service Center in Sumter County will be closed through Friday, according to a statement from Sumter County.
▪ State government offices in 18 counties listed above will be closed, according to McMaster. That includes the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to a statement from the DMV.
▪ All Richland County Recreation Commission facilities and parks will close, according to a statement.
▪ The U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center in Sumter County will close Thursday and Friday, according to a statement from the department.
▪ Shaw AFB evacuated its F-16 CM Fighting Falcon aircraft Wednesday in preparation for Hurricane Florence, according to a statement from the base.
▪ Richland County yard waste, not trash or recycling, scheduled for collection Friday will be delayed one week.
▪ The Historic Melrose Scavenger Hunt in Columbia was rescheduled, according to a statement from Columbias Planning and Development Services. The new hunt will begin Sept. 23.
▪ Moth Night and Bierkeller Columbias Oktoberfest have been postponed, according t a statement from the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department. Moth Night was scheduled for Friday, and has been moved to October. Oktoberfest was scheduled for Saturday, but a new date has not been announced.
▪ PAW Patrol Live Race to the Rescue, which was scheduled for this weekend at the Colonial Life Arena, has been rescheduled, according to a Tweet from the arena. The show will hit the stage May 24-26 next year.
▪ Resurrection, a Journey Tribute Band which was scheduled for Friday at the Icehouse Amphitheater in Lexington, has been rescheduled for Oct. 19, according to the Town of Lexington.
▪ The Special Primary Runoff Election for Dorchester County Council District 1, that was scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed and will be rescheduled for September 18.
▪ A celebration of a decade of the Health Carolina Farmers Market hosted by Patricia Moore-Pastides, USCs first lady, has been postponed, according to a statement from the university. The new event will take place Oct. 2.
▪ The Palmetto Tennis Center postponed its invitational tournament, according to a statement from the center. The new date will be announced later.
▪ The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is postponing its Workforce Development Symposium, according to a statement from the chamber. The event was originally scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. A new date has not yet been announced.
▪ USC President Harris Pastides will be postponing his State of the University address, according to a statement from USC.
▪ The COMET will suspend all services after the 5:30p.m. departure on Thursday, until further notice, according to a statement.
▪ The COMETs public meeting on Friday at 2 p.m. at Cayce/West Columbia Library has been canceled, according to a statement.
▪ The South Carolina State Fairs mobile ticket booth, FRED, has canceled planned stops Saturday at the fairgrounds and Monday at Richland Library St. Andrews.
▪ The Farmers Market at Lexington Square Park has been canceled, according to the Town of Lexington.
▪ The S.C. Board of Health and Environmental Control canceled its Thursday meeting, according to a statement from DHEC.
▪ Special Olympics South Carolina canceled its September Slammer State Tennis Tournament and an Aiken Fundraiser, according to a statement from the organization. Neither event will be rescheduled.
▪ The Red Cross canceled blood drives across the coastal areas of South Carolina, according to a S.C. Red Cross Tweet. The organization asked that residents in areas not affected by Florence continue to donate.
▪ The Columbia Food Policy Committees meeting scheduled for Wednesday was canceled, according to a statement from the city government.
▪ The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk scheduled for Friday was canceled, according to a statement from sponsor Lexington Medical Center.
▪ All athletic events have been canceled for Richland and Lexington County schools after McMaster ordered the school districts close. No makeup dates have been scheduled. If school is not in Friday, the scheduled high school football games will not be played.
▪ The college football game between Benedict and Fayetteville State scheduled for Saturday has been canceled and no make-up date is scheduled, according to a statement from the college.
▪ The University of South Carolina football teams game against Marshall set for Saturday was canceled.
▪ Presbyterian Colleges football game against Stetson, originally set as a home game then shifted to a road game on Saturday, will not be played due to impending weather associated with Hurricane Florence.
▪ The college football game between Newberry College and Virginia of Lynchburg scheduled for Saturday has been moved to 1 p.m., Thursday. Admission is free for evacuees.
▪ North Carolina Central at South Carolina State football game scheduled for Saturday has been moved to Nov. 24.
▪ The University of South Carolina equestrian teams exhibition against the South Carolina IHSA Club Team has been canceled.