Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Gov. McMaster issues mandatory evacuation for parts of Lowcountry counties

Several houses on Edisto Beach boarded up windows, town appears to be ghost town Gov. McMaster issues mandatory evacuation for parts of Lowcountry counties
Howard Terry | 11 September, 2017, 00:40

SC ordered evacuations of Hilton Head Island and six other barrier islands.

The evacuation goes into effect at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Citizens in Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper counties outside of the barrier islands are encouraged to seek shelter if they have concerns for their personal safety and to be prepared to take safety precautions if they are asked to do so by local public safety officials.

But S.C. leaders continued to warn Palmetto State residents that they still face dangers.

"Imagine this hurricane will be here in the morning and do what you need to do right away". "A lot more people on the roads are going to slow things down". Traffic on Interstate 95, which stretches up the East Coast from Florida, was up 40 percent on Wednesday, McMaster said. "We're continuing to get ready, and I encourage families and businesses across our state to do the same". That executive order signed Thursday afternoon required hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers and other in-patient facilities in eight counties to immediately begin moving patients inland.

As for the possibility of issuing an order to close schools statewide, McMaster said he doesn't think that will be necessary now.

South Carolina's emergency helpline is now active around the clock. State workers have the authority to release the water if owners won't, he said. The latest forecasts predict the storm will skirt along South Carolina's western border.

For Lowcountry residents leaving their cars parked, officials are urging them to park them up high, either on hills or in garages, to avoid getting caught in floods. As of Friday evening, the storm is expected to reach Florida this weekend as a Category 4 or 5 storm and travel up the state to Georgia where it should trail off to the northwest into Alabama or Tennessee. But Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the path is too uncertain for people to relax.

Eleven shelters were open statewide Sunday at mid-day.

Friday, City of Atlanta crews were out in full force making sure drains were clear ahead of Monday's severe weather. Bluffton High School and Battery Creek High School in Beaufort County. Shelters scheduled to be operating beginning tomorrow include the Colleton Middle School in Colleton County, Ridgeland High Junior and Elementary School in Jasper County.

Estill High School, 1450 Columbia Highway North, in Estill; Orangeburg: Bethune Bowman Middle/High School, 4857 Charleston Highway, in Rowesville; Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, 601 Bruin Parkway, in Orangeburg.

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