SC governor gives update on Hurricane Irma preparations

Trevor Jackson
September 10, 2017

Thursday, President Trump declared a state of emergency in SC to allow the state to receive federal assistance for Irma's impacts - McMaster declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

The mandatory evacuation will take effect at 10:00 a.m. on September 9 for Barrier Islands in Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties.

The islands in Beaufort include Dafuskie, Hilton Head, Fripp, Harbor and Hunting.

The governor said he would wait until the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center on Irma before making the final decision.

There are no other evacuations planned, McMaster said.

Coastal South Carolina is no stranger to hurricanes, but it looks as if much of the Lowcountry and the Pee Dee will escape the wrath of Hurricane Irma.

Any order would correspond to lane reversals on several major highways, including Interstate 26 between Charleston and Columbia, meaning they would allow only out-bound traffic.

McMaster said he's leaving the decision to close schools in the hands of local governments, and will not issue a statewide order.

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No other S.C. counties are under evacuation order.

McMaster said more than 90,000 more cars have been counted on the state's interstates on Thursday (27,000 more) and Friday (65,000 more) than a normal day. Now, only the 27 facilities and three hospitals in Beaufort and Jasper counties are being required to evacuate, the governor said.

The state is prepared to open 200 shelters and transport 10,000 people by bus if needed, he said.

During his news conference on Thursday, McMaster laid out the state's plans if he decides to activate a mandatory evacuation along the coast of sc.

"Yesterday afternoon the track of the storm was still going more or less over the Upstate, which meant that the heavier rain was expected to be more to the east of us", said NWS meteorologist Patrick Moore. The latest forecasts predict the storm will skirt along South Carolina's western border. Evacuees from Florida and Georgia are heading to or through the Palmetto State in large numbers.

Here is a list of open shelters: Colleton County: Colleton Middle School, 1379 Tuskegee Airmen Drive in Walterboro.

County offices along with city of Georgetown offices will be closed Monday except for essential personnel.

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