SC Gov. Orders Evacuations Of Coastal Health Care Facilities

The latest track shows Hurricane Irma shifting to the west

The latest track shows Hurricane Irma shifting to the west

With forecasts Friday shifting Irma away from the state's coastline, McMaster still hadn't made a decision on whether evacuations were needed.

This would be the first or second landfall, depending on whether or not the center of Irma crosses over Florida early in the weekend.

With about 40,000 residents, Hilton Head Island is by far the largest island evacuated. Some school buses might also be used in the evacuation. The city said it continues to closely monitor the hurricane's track.

"Stay tuned to local government information and AccuWeather.com for timing of the hurricane's progress, remember it is not too early to prepare to leave; pack bags, gas up you auto and prepare your property now", Myers said.

The closing of county offices in South Carolina's capital led the University of SC to cancel its classes on Monday. They also said the highest threat of tornadoes will be along the storm's eastern edge.

Category 5 Hurricane Irma is officially headed our way - although we're not sure yet what category it will be when it affects the SC coast.

Irma's anticipated track will bring tropical-storm- to hurricane-force conditions to South Florida as early as Saturday.

Hall says traffic is heavy on Interstates 95 and 26 and U.S. Highway 321 but traffic is still moving.

Speaking at a press briefing at the state's Emergency Operations Center, McMaster said state officials are waiting to see the National's Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. update on the storm's forecast.

Spaghetti models for Hurricane Irma both GFS and Euro agree on a track taking the storm up the west coast of Florida
Spaghetti models for Hurricane Irma both GFS and Euro agree on a track taking the storm up the west coast of Florida

With dramatic storm surge expected across South Carolina's low-lying coastal areas as a result of Hurricane Irma, Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation of barrier islands in Colleton, Beaufort, and Jasper counties.

"There has been a lot of talk about Hurricane Irma", DES officials said in a statement.

During Thursday's briefing, the governor announced, if necessary, he is prepared to begin evacuations of coastal communities Saturday at 10 a.m.

Jose is now forecast to make a turn to the northeast well off the Bahamas by the middle of next week.

McMaster said he issued executive orders today to require owners of more than 2,300 private dams to lower water levels in case of heavy rains and to evacuate residents of coastal hospitals, nursing homes and other health-care facilities.

Cooper said that emergency officials are now preparing for potential impact on all 100 counties in the state. The order still applied to two counties. Forecasters believe Irma could affect the east coast of the United States in the coming days.

Tanner said "quite a few people", who have not evacuated the islands.

The agency's official warning cone now includes the entire state of Florida, barring a tiny piece of the western panhandle. Cooper said the state is considering possible impacts to all 100 counties across the state.

But if people are still looking for hotel rooms in Georgia, they may be out of luck.

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