No Decision Yet on Evacuations for SC Coast, Governor Says

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Although the latest Hurricane Irma forecasts are increasingly favorable for SC, the National Weather Service still expects Irma to cause high winds, heavy rains and localized flooding due to a possible storm surge of four to six feet.

Gov. McMaster has already issued a mandatory evacuation of 143 inpatient health care facilities, including nursing homes and hospitals in the possible path of the storm.

He said any mandatory evacuation order would at least involve coastal counties but could include additional counties depending on where the storm would most likely make landfall.

McMaster made the announcement at 7:45 p.m. after his team received an updated 5 p.m. report about Hurricane Irma's movement from the National Weather Service.

McMaster says if he orders people to leave their homes, the evacuation would take effect at 10 a.m. Saturday.

McMaster commented on the westward shifts in Irma's track, which he said has relieved the tension felt by state officials.

Hurricane Irma bears down on Fla.
No Decision Yet on Evacuations for SC Coast, Governor Says

Officials are urging residents to secure their waste bins in order to avoid the waste from becoming airborne in the strong winds predicted to accompany the arrival of Hurricane Irma. But the trip could coincide with the state's first major hurricane strike in almost 28 years. Heavy rains could lead to flash flooding or river flooding throughout next week.

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.

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

As for rainfall, the Upstate should receive an estimated four to six inches, an amount comparable to what the area experienced during October 2015's 1,000 Year Flood.

52 shelters in 12 counties are on standby. "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".

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

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