No Decision Yet on Evacuations for SC Coast, Governor Says

10 September, 2017, 13:22 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • BREAKING: Gov Deal expands state of emergency, issues mandatory evacuation order

The executive order enables all state agencies to coordinate resources in preparation for Hurricane Irma, which is now a category five hurricane.

Still, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster warned of storm surges, as high as 6 feet, along the southern S.C. coast and again urged residents of barrier islands in three coastal counties to leave. Other islands included are Edisto Beach, Fripp Island, Daufuskie Island, Harbor Island.

McMaster said that shelters will be open and others are available to open if needed.

SC officials will be in Germany next week to recruit jobs at the world's biggest show for the automotive industry, but Hurricane Irma is keeping Gov. Henry McMaster at home. Interstate 26 lanes will not be reversed as of the latest update from the governor.

McMaster said the rest of the state can evacuate if they don't feel safe.

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An evacuation order is expected for Saturday or Sunday. They are leaving that up to local school districts. Shelters scheduled to be operating beginning tomorrow include the Colleton Middle School in Colleton County, Ridgeland High Junior and Elementary School in Jasper County.

The southernmost stretch of the S.C. coast remains under a hurricane watch, while the Charleston area is under a tropical storm watch.

The governor also rescinded parts of an order signed Thursday requiring health care facilities in all coastal counties to move patients inland and not take new, non-emergency patients.

Forecasts early Friday showed the storm likely to head north through Florida and into Georgia and Tennessee. With the memories of flooding and damage from last year's Hurricane Matthew still on the minds of so many, officials had little problem stirring residents to action. But Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the path is too uncertain for people to relax. The hurricane now is expected to churn through Florida and then Georgia.

Police encourage residents not participating in Aiken's Makin' to find alternative routes around the city as traffic will be heavy and some streets are closed to vehicles during the event.

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