Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Most Lexington County schools and other government offices have begun to announce their closings for Thursday due to Hurricane Michael. The storm is projected to cross the Panhandle of Florida, speed across the state of Georgia, and the run through the center of South Carolina in some form on Thursday.
Currently, four of the five Lexington County school districts have announced that schools will be closed Thursday due to the predicted bad weather. Lexington-Richland Five is the only one that has not yet released a statement saying they are closing. They have said they are monitoring the situations closely and are working with emergency planners to keep up to date on the latest conditions.
District One, Two, Three, and Four have all said they would close. In their releases, most said they were doing so because the latest National Weather Service forecast includes heavy rains and high winds associated with the storm. These can produce unsafe travel conditions, especially for school buses. According to guidelines from the SC Department of Education, buses should not operate when sustained winds are at 30 mph or greater, or in frequent gusts exceeding 40 mph. Nothing should be operated when tropical storm or high wind conditions exist, which means sustained winds of 39 mph or greater. Their closures and cancellations include all after school activities.
School District One also said that they would cancel the candidate forum the White Knoll High School’s School Improvement Council was hosting on Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. Six individuals are running for three at-large seats on the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees and these candidates were scheduled to speak regarding their position on important issues facing the district. Residents are welcome to attend any of remaining forums that are scheduled for Oct. 18, 2018 at Pelion High School, Oct. 22, 2018 at Gilbert High School, Oct. 28, 2018 at Lexington High School, and Nov. 4, 2018 at River Bluff High School Law Center. The Pelion and Gilbert forums are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the Lexington and River Bluff forums are scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
Other government scheduled events are also being cancelled. The Town of Lexington announced Wednesday that their Lexington Live concert that was to be held at the Icehouse Amphitheatre on Thursday, October 11 has been moved to Thursday, October 18. That concert will feature the popular local band The Root Doctors. They also said that their solid waste and recycling schedules will remain as is for now.
The City of West Columbia said they were closing the Wyman M. “Mac” Rish Riverwalk and Amphitheater on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, at 7 PM, ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. The City expects residents and visitors to stay out of the park and river for their safety and that of first responders.
We will continue to update this list as soon as more are received.