Gov. Nikki Haley declared a state of emergency in South Carolina and issued evacuation notices for all coastal communities in the state during a press conference on Tuesday.
“The is not the same as the flood. This is not the same as the winter storm. This is going to be its own challenge to itself, and so I’d ask everybody not to take this lightly,” said Gov. Haley as she urged the people to evacuate at least 100 miles inland.
Predictions show that Hurricane Matthew will approach the coast of South Carolina on Friday as a Category 2 or 3 hurricane with 5 to 7 foot storm surges and winds that exceed 100 miles per hour. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) intends for 1.1 million people to evacuate coastal Carolina and will utilize 1,800 members of the National Guard to help with evacuation.
Lane reversals on I-26 will begin at 3 p.m. on Wednesday to help people leave the area. All schools and government offices will be closed starting Wednesday to urge people to leave.
“It’s not going to be a fast evacuation but what we ask is that you be patient and understand that it could take up to several hours,” reminded Gov. Haley as she urged people to leave as quickly as possible.
To find your evacuation route and the list of all school closings visit www.scemd.gov
SCEMD officials have outlined the regions in each area that are being eyed for evacuation. Director Kim Stenson said the agency will review the list Wednesday morning, before the officials evacuations begin.
Beaufort: Zone A, Entire county
Jasper: A and B
Colleton: A Only
Dorchester: B,D,E, and F
Berkeley: A,B,C,G, and I
Horry: A only
Georgetown: A only
The schools in the following counties will be closed through Friday: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg.