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SC governor gives update on Hurricane Irma preparations

10 September 2017

SC and much of the east coast is well versed in storm preparedness due to the past several years of extreme inclement weather.

Gov. Henry McMaster on Wednesday declared a state of emergency and said evacuations might be ordered on Friday.

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

The barrier islands are located in the counties of Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper, and only residents who reside on the islands are included in the mandatory evacuation, McMaster said.

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. The path and strength of the hurricane when and if it hits the Lowcountry is still unknown. McMaster has not ordered evacuations but said that could happen Friday.

People in potentially vulnerable areas should review personal safety plans, become familiar with local evacuation zones in coastal counties and locate the nearest hurricane evacuation routes. "It is coming", McMaster said in a news conference broadcast from the state's Emergency Management Division.

Representatives with the Aiken County EOC said the storm models have shifted slightly west, but they are still expecting to receive tropical storm-force winds of 75 to 85 miles per hour sometime between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning. Fewer than 50 people are now in those shelters, said Kim Stenson, the director of the Emergency Management Division.

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Player said Andrew Jackson High School and Lancaster High School have been selected as standby evacuation shelters should they be needed.

The best way to get emergency information for the county is signing up for "Everbridge Emergency Notification Signup" at www.mylancastersc.org.

Deal expanded a state of emergency to 30 counties near the coast on Thursday afternoon.

On Friday, Duke Energy was continuing steps to prepare for significant rainfall in a short time by moving water out of reservoirs and lowering lake levels in the Catawba River Basin to increase reservoir storage capacity.

By Friday evening, there will be "some flood concerns" between Charleston and Savannah, according to a Facebook post Thursday night by Neil Dixon, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Charleston.

While the league knows they will potentially be impacted by this storm in some capacity, they do not know, according to a press release, the totality of the impact at this time. He said closure decisions will be made by individual school districts.

SC governor gives update on Hurricane Irma preparations