COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- Emergency management officials are kicking off the 2014 hurricane season by pointing backwards to the 1989 season when Hurricane Hugo cut a path up the state.
Officials say now if a hurricane the size of Hugo hit the state, it would cause more than $16.6 billion in damage in destroy more than 21,000 homes.
As a result, South Carolina Emergency Management Division officials will spend the 2014 season highlighting the impacts of Hugo and the changes made across the state since 1989. To follow along with the information, search #Hugo25 on the SC EMD's social media sites.
On Sunday, the SC EMD 2014 Hurricane Preparedness Guide was released and can be downloaded or picked up in person at Walgreens stores or in one of nine newspapers across the state.
On June 3, SC EMD and a host of other state and local agencies will test their hurricane evacuation plans, including lane reversals of Interstate 26, and Highways 21, 278, 501, and 544. The exercise will last from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
However, officials say this is simply a test of their response to an emergency. lanes will not be reversed for the exercise, but officers will be stationed along the highways.
On June 4, the State Emergency Response Team will test plans for after a hurricane makes landfall, including damage assessment, a plan to allow residents to return to the area, and initial recovery plans.
In Georgetown this Wednesday and Thursday, a mobile emergency center will be set up at the airport and the S.C. Air National Guard will bring in resources to help local officials handle the aftermath of a hypothetical landfall.
Officials said F-16 aircraft will be in the area for damage assessment, while a C-130 cargo plane will be brought in to airlift supplies to victims stranded on the Waccamaw Neck. Blackhawk helicopters will be used for search and rescue operations.
Emergency Preparation activities
Charleston County: http://www.lcert.org/events.php