State officials say an estimated 250,000 people have evacuated from the Beaufort and Charleston regions as Hurricane Matthew draws closer to South Carolina.
Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday that number could get as high as 500,000 by the weekend as more coastal areas evacuate on Thursday. Haley issued an order Wednesday afternoon to evacuate residents in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton Dorchester and Jasper counties. She said in an evening briefing that the order could come around noon Thursday.
Hurricane Matthew was roughly 200 miles south of the Bahamas as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, but its projected path is now much closer to the Florida coast than previous models predicted. Those models now have Matthew’s center passing roughly 60-70 miles offshore past Hilton Head and Charleston, on Saturday before turning out to sea. However, the National Weather Service is warning that Matthew’s path is still unpredictable at this point. [Read more…]