Gov. Henry McMaster: decision on coastal evacuations to be made Friday

Posted September 10, 2017

McMaster did not give a clear timeframe for when evacuation orders might be lifted, and pledged thorough inspections of state infrastructure following Irma to ensure the safety of citizens.

At a press conference Saturday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said that while Hurricane Irma will apparently spare South Carolina the sort of devastating damage that came with Hurricane Matthew previous year, he urged residents not to let their guard down once the storm has passed.

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.

Officials say they expect the storm surge could be as high as 4 to 6 feet due to the high tides in these areas. 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. "We are taking a very cautious approach" said Major General Bob Livingston. Now, only the 27 facilities and three hospitals in Beaufort and Jasper counties are being required to evacuate, the governor said.

The National Hurricane Center's Thursday morning forecast has Irma on track to make landfall in Beaufort County.

We are optimists and are hoping for the best for all.

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Gov. Henry McMaster: decision on coastal evacuations to be made Friday

There are 264 agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, The PPP and from the Department of Natural Resources. Georgetown County's official website, www.georgetowncountysc.org, has storm related information.

"We're five days or so away from feeling the impacts of Hurricane Irma, but it is not too soon to get ready", Cooper said.

Columbia is most likely to experience the storm's effects throughout the day and night Monday, although tropical storm-force winds are possible starting Sunday night.

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

Reminder: If games are postponed or cancelled, game officials need notification immediately.

Andy Shain and Jamie Lovegrove with the Post and Courier contributed to his report.