Charleston evacuates homeless to Goose Creek

Charleston evacuates homeless to Goose Creek
September 15 13:48 2018 Print This Article

Lowcountry Source has learned that the City of Charleston bused hundreds of homeless and indigent residents to the emergency shelter at Goose Creek High School in advance of Hurricane Florence reaching landfall in North Carolina. Berkeley County officials were not notified. Residents from the One80 Place homeless shelter were bused to Goose Creek Tuesday, and indigents from other parts of Charleston County checked in Wednesday and Thursday until the shelter reached its capacity of 400 people. Charleston local governments also failed to provide law enforcement, medical or supervisory personnel to help out at the shelter. The homeless individuals are known to have been infested with bed bugs and may have carried communicable disease.

Ordinarily, the Charleston County School District (CCSD) sets up emergency shelters in its inland schools during threatening storms, as it did with Tropical Storm Irma in 2017.  A recent study revealed that none of the CCSD schools are structurally capable of withstanding a hurricane classified above Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. That was used as the justification for not opening a shelter in Charleston County. Florence was classified as Category 4 earlier in the week but was downgraded to Category 2 by Wednesday, September 12. That would have given CCSD sufficient time to open a shelter before Florence reached landfall in North Carolina Friday afternoon.

There will likely be discussions between officials from neighboring counties, Charleston County, City of Charleston, and CCSD to clarify the shelter policy and the transportation of Charleston residents across county lines.