Lane reversal along eastbound Interstate 26 got underway ahead of schedule at 11 a.m. Tuesday rather than the scheduled noon time slot.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation and state Highway Patrol reversed traffic on eastbound Interstate 26 between Charleston and Columbia. All traffic is now going westbound only between the two cities.
Meanwhile traffic was also reversed on U.S. Highway 501 in Horry County for traffic leaving the Myrtle Beach region. However, that transition did not occur until the scheduled noon reversal Tuesday.
During a Tuesday press briefing, officials said the reversals would end six hours before the storm makes landfall.
The Post and Courier reports that traffic was lighter than average on the interstate in the North Charleston area Tuesday, I-26 was carrying more westbound traffic than usual in the Harleyville area, where daily commuting traffic would have less influence on the numbers.
Officials worry residents in Charleston and its suburbs are trying to ride the storm out, unconcerned about Florence potentially dipping southwest after forecasts predict it will come ashore in southeastern North Carolina.
Traffic on Highway 501 indicated a steady outflow of evacuating tourists and residents from the Grand Strand. Horry and Georgetown counties are under hurricane warnings.