Published: Sun, September 10, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Governor orders evacuations of SC barrier islands as Irma approaches

Governor orders evacuations of SC barrier islands as Irma approaches

South Carolina Adjutant General Robert Livingston estimates 20,000 people have already left Hilton Head Island.

Those islands include Edisto Beach, Dafuskie, Fripp, Harbor, Hunting, Hilton Head Island, Knowles and Tullifiny.

The state is prepared to open 200 shelters and transport 10,000 people by bus if needed, he said.

"I'm real proud of the way that team SC has devised, through a lot of work and a lot of thought, a grand plan that so far is working extremely well", said McMaster.

"We've been keeping a close eye on the storm", he said.

Tropical storm-force winds also are possible Monday in some areas of the state, particularly south of Interstate 26 and in the western half of the Midlands.

The restoration of service will occur once the weather permits. Heavy rains could lead to flash flooding or river flooding throughout next week. He doesn't believe this storm, moving more quickly, will be so devastating.

McMaster left open the possibility of evacuations until late Friday, as Irma approached southern Florida.

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He said officials will wait until they know more about the storm's possible route and intensity before identifying the counties to be evacuated, though he said he is "99 percent sure" the evacuation order will become effective Saturday morning and will involve at least coastal counties.

"This is a storm that will kill you if you don't get out of the way", said National Hurricane Center meteorologist and spokesman Dennis Feltgen. 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.

That forecast shows the state will have a surplus of just $52 million during the fiscal year that starts in July 2018.

In the past some have speculated hurricanes help the economy because of increased spending.

Forecasters say it appears that Hurricane Irma won't hit hard in Upstate New York, but they caution there is plenty of time for that to change.

"The storm surge is not something to be taken lightly", McMaster said.

According to a press release, the league realizes that no concrete decisions can be made until the storm has passed, however at this time, we are in alert mode and are asking that you make plans on the front end in the event the storm alters our athletic schedules in the next week.

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