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McMaster orders evacuation of several barrier islands

10 September 2017

Thursday, President Trump declared a state of emergency in SC to allow the state to receive federal assistance for Irma's impacts - McMaster declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

Gov. Henry McMaster has said that he will announce whether there will be mandatory evacuations and interstate lane reversals at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The islands in Beaufort include Dafuskie, Hilton Head, Fripp, Harbor and Hunting. If you plan to evacuate to a shelter, please be prepared to bring your own blankets, pillows, cots and any special foods if you are on a restricted diet.

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As for the possibility of issuing an order to close schools statewide, McMaster said he doesn't think that will be necessary now.

He had said Thursday that if evacuations were ordered, they'd go into effect at 10 a.m. Saturday. He said closure decisions will be made by individual school districts. That track, and the entire cone of uncertainty with it, has shifted entirely outside the state in recent National Hurricane Center updates. That evacuation order remains for healthcare facilities in Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper Counties.

Traffic on South Carolina's highways is already heavier than normal with residents fleeing Irma's projected path.

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The EOC said they will provide information about shelters for people and animals as soon as possible.

In the meantime, he urged South Carolinians to look up their evacuation zones and check for established evacuation routes for their communities.

The governor also rescinded parts of an order signed Thursday requiring health care facilities in all coastal counties to move patients inland and not take new, non-emergency patients. As of Friday evening, the storm is expected to reach Florida this weekend as a Category 4 or 5 storm and travel up the state to Georgia where it should trail off to the northwest into Alabama or Tennessee. The latest forecasts predict the storm will skirt along South Carolina's western border. Evacuees from Florida and Georgia are heading to or through the Palmetto State in large numbers.

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County offices along with city of Georgetown offices will be closed Monday except for essential personnel.

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McMaster orders evacuation of several barrier islands