SC Barrier Island Evacuations Begin 10am Saturday

Jerome Frank
September 10, 2017

Officials said anywhere from four to six feet of storm surge inundation is expected across the southern SC coast. The storm is projected to make landfall Sunday night or Monday morning near the Florida keys, possibly on the western side of the state.

McMaster had ordered the evacuation Thursday, but he eliminated those counties from the order because of a change, westward, in the expected track of Hurricane Irma.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster says he has not made a decision yet on whether to evacuate parts of the coastal areas of South Carolina. "There is also the possibility that our bus fleet would be used to transport evacuees from the coast and/or some of our schools could become shelters".

But experts warned S.C. residents to expect power outages and possible damage to poorly built mobile homes, trees, signs and outbuildings. Counties on the barrier islands impacted were Colleton, Jasper and Beaufort. Heavy rains could lead to flash flooding or river flooding throughout next week.

Other topics included tropical storm watches from the South Santee River to north of Edisto Beach, a hurricane watch issued from Edisto Beach to the state's southern border, and a storm surge watch issued from Isle of Palms to the South Carolina/Georgia border. But Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the path is too uncertain for people to relax.

The largest barrier island involved in the evacuation is Hilton Head, which has a permanent population of more than 40,000.

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One good thing about the more westward track is that Irma's tropical storm force winds won't be as strong as previously expected, Moore said.

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

Nathan Deal ordered a mandatory evacuation for all areas east of Interstate 95, as well as some surge-prone areas west of the interstate, by Saturday.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Hurricane Irma remained a Category 5 storm, moving northwest over the Dominican Republic at 16 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 175 miles per hour.

Richland: Dent Middle School, 2721 Decker Boulevard, in Columbia.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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