SC Barrier Island Evacuations Begin 10am Saturday

SC Barrier Island Evacuations Begin 10am Saturday

The evacuation goes into effect at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

The Category 4 storm's projected track - which once had the Palmetto State in its crosshairs - leaned west Friday. The increased traffic is mostly coming from Florida and Georgia hurricane evacuees.

"It's too soon to rule out any possibilities", Stenson said "Hurricane Irma is a unsafe storm and its projected path could put SC in harm's way".

The southernmost stretch of the S.C. coast remains under a hurricane watch, while the Charleston area is under a tropical storm watch.

Midday projections show Hurricane Irma's possible path as it passes over the Dominican Republic, Thurs.

Barrier islands in Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper counties are under mandatory evacuation as of Saturday at 10 a.m., S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said tonight, as Hurricane Irma continues toward the eastern U.S.at 12 miles per hour.

Fewer than 50 evacuees are staying in the state's three open shelters, officials said.

Bluffton High School and Battery Creek High School can be used as shelters.

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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.

But experts warned S.C. residents to expect power outages and possible damage to poorly built mobile homes, trees, signs and outbuildings.

"Yesterday afternoon the track of the storm was still going more or less over the Upstate, which meant that the heavier rain was expected to be more to the east of us", said NWS meteorologist Patrick Moore.

McMaster said he's leaving the decision to close schools in the hands of local governments, and will not issue a statewide order. Islands in Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties are covered by the order.

There are 264 agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, The PPP and from the Department of Natural Resources.

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.

With Irma largely expected to impact Greenville at the start of the new work week, the possibility exists that schools will be closed.

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

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