South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster held a press briefing on Sunday to update the public on the potential impact of Hurricane Irma in South Carolina. Georgia Power restored power to more than 338,000 customers impacted by Hurricane Matthew quickly and safely by fully deploying company resources and leveraging the mutual assistance network in the week following the storm.
Irma had winds of 175 miles per hour Thursday as it raked across Caribbean islands toward South Florida.
The storm left at least 27 people dead across the Caribbean.
In Barbuda, over 90 percent of buildings and vehicles were destroyed.
After some necessary warnings about wind and supplies, the post veers into "the stupid factor" with the force of a hurricane wind. Forecasts called for Irma's center to be near the Georgia-Florida line Monday morning, though the exact path and storm intensity remained uncertain.
Occasional gusts between 40 and 60 miles per hour will be felt across eastern Tennessee, northern Alabama and Georgia, including the cities of Atlanta, Knoxville, Tennessee; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; and Augusta, South Carolina.
The deadly storm has devastated several islands in the Caribbean and caused massive evacuations across Florida and Georgia. "Because if you lived downtown and toward the south of the county, you did not experience a Category 4 storm", said Haynes, claiming that only those living north of Charleston city limits experienced the "true Hugo". "Let's be good hosts", the governor said. "But we are asking them to go to family and friends for shelter if they have concerns about their safety". "Fortunately, it is not hitting us like we thought it might but it is still hitting us and it will hit hard".
"Traffic levels have returned to pre-storm conditions, if not lower", Hall said. "We're not too anxious about it".
The evacuation begins at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
8,600 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel have been deployed to respond to both Irma and Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the Houston area just last week.
In addition to heavy rain, some areas will have to worry about quick tornado spin-ups within Irma's outer rain bands to the northeast of the storm's center. "However, longer lasting widespread flooding like we experienced a year ago with [Hurricane] Matthew is not expected at this time".
A direct hit from Irma appeared increasingly unlikely in North Carolina, where emergency officials urged people to stay vigilant with preparations.
"The circulation around the storm is going to be increasing in size, so essentially the tropical storm force winds will extend farther out as the storm gets closer to us", he said.
"Florida utilities are putting requests out for help, for example, and normally if it wasn't affecting us but we would certainly be the ones helping". It will "sail out to blue skies and calm seas" and plans to return once the port reopens.