McMaster orders evacuation of several barrier islands

BREAKING: Gov Deal expands state of emergency, issues mandatory evacuation order

Hurricane Irma bears down on Fla.

The executive order enables all state agencies to coordinate resources in preparation for Hurricane Irma, which is now a category five hurricane.

This applies to the following: Edisto Beach, Daufuskie, Fripp, Harbor, Hunting, Hilton Head, Knowles and Tullifini Islands. That announcement is expected to come around 6 p.m. Word on possible interstate lane reversals could come at that time, too.

McMaster says there are No other evacuations ordered.

States of emergency have been declared for coastal areas of Georgia and the Carolinas ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Residents of those eight islands - home to more than 44,400 - evacuated smoothly on Saturday, the governor said at a 2 p.m. press conference. The order still applied to three counties.

McMaster said the state is prepared to open 200 shelters if needed.

McMaster said 1,349 National Guardsmen, 1,696 troopers and local law enforcement, 107 state guardsmen and 264 SLED, PPP, DNR agents are on duty.

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.

The governor also rescinded parts of an order signed Thursday requiring health care facilities in all coastal counties to move patients inland and not take new, non-emergency patients.

"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.

There is congestion on Interstate 95, Interstate 26, and Highway 321 due to people from Florida and Georgia coming into the state who are fleeing areas at high risk from the storm.

State forecasters remained uncertain of the storm's path and cautioned that SC residents should remain vigilant.

Becker said Friday morning it is important for South Carolinians to review emergency plans and to prepare for high winds and heavy rains.

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

The Columbia area is unlikely to experience hurricane-force winds but could see tornadoes Monday, forecasters said around midday Saturday.

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