Shaw evacuating its F-16s from Sumter ahead of Hurricane Florence


UPDATE, 8:45 a.m., Sept. 13: Shaw Air Force Base is now at HURCON2, which means destructive winds of 58 miles per hour or greater are possible within 24 hours.


Shaw Air Force Base is moving its fleet of F-16s away from base to avoid the path of Hurricane Florence.

Col. Derek J. O’Malley, commander of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw in Sumter, gave an update Wednesday morning as he sat on the flight line to watch aircraft take off.

The base is now at a Hurricane Condition 3 (HURCON3), which means destructive winds of 58 miles per hour or more are possible within 48 hours.

“The change in HURCON follows Gov. Henry McMaster’s declaration of a state of emergency for South Carolina in preparation for Hurricane Florence,” a news release from the base said.

Shaw is continuing to operate under mission-essential reporting duty status, which means only mission-essential personnel should report to the base for work Sept. 12-14.

The main gate at Shaw will maintain normal operating hours Sept. 12-14. The S.C. 441 gate will close to inbound and outbound traffic beginning Wednesday, Sept. 12, and the Sumter gate closed to traffic Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.

The 20th Medical Group will close Wednesday, Sept. 12 at noon.

Shaw Heights and High Hills elementary schools are closed until further notice as per the governor’s executive order to close public schools in 26 counties, including Sumter, Lee and Clarendon.

The following facilities are closed until further notice starting Wednesday, Sept. 12:

* Child Development Center, closing at noon

* Family Child care, closing at noon

* Youth programs, closing at noon

* Rickenbackers

* Carolina Skies Club

* Afterburner Grill

* Tee Top Café

* Weasel Wagon

* Carolina Lakes Golf Course

* Shaw Lanes Bowling Center

* Skeet & Trap Range

* Woodland Pool

* Wateree Rec Area

* Outdoor Recreation

* Spratt Education Center

* Fitness Center, 24-hour access will be deactivated starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13


* McElveen Library

* MPF & ID’s

* Arts & Crafts Center


DFAC will be open, but dorm residents will be issued 72 hours’ worth of MREs in the event the DFAC must close.

“It is strongly recommended that movement on, off and around base be limited during the height of the storm for the safety of all personnel,” the release said. “Emergency services to include fire, ambulance and security forces will be maintained through the duration of the storm in case of an emergency.”