Georgia, Carolinas Prepare for Possible Hurricane Irma Coastal Strike

Georgia, Carolinas Prepare for Possible Hurricane Irma Coastal Strike

Georgia, Carolinas Prepare for Possible Hurricane Irma Coastal Strike

Emergencies were declared in multiple Southeast states as the coast prepared for the possible impacts of Hurricane Irma, and along the coast of Georgia, residents were told they'd need to leave their homes this weekend.

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 past year, he urged residents not to let their guard down once the storm has passed.

The islands in Beaufort include Dafuskie, Hilton Head, Fripp, Harbor and Hunting.

The governor said due to shifting forecasts, he's waiting until the next advisory from the National Hurricane Center, which will come down at 5 p.m. Friday.

Governors Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Henry McMaster of SC have both declared a state of emergency so state and local officials can better prepare for Hurricane Irma.

Federal forecasters have shifted the center of Irma well west of SC.

If lane reversals do happen, they would take place on I-26 from Charleston to I-77, he said.

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Georgia, Carolinas Prepare for Possible Hurricane Irma Coastal Strike

McMaster said he's leaving the decision to close schools in the hands of local governments, and will not issue a statewide order.

Limited Coastal evacuations are set to begin at 10am Saturday. Now, only the 27 facilities and three hospitals in Beaufort and Jasper counties are being required to evacuate, the governor said.

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

The southernmost stretch of the S.C. coast remains under a hurricane watch, while the Charleston area is under a tropical storm watch. Heavy rains could lead to flash flooding or river flooding throughout next week.

Becker said Friday morning it is important for South Carolinians to review emergency plans and to prepare for high winds and heavy rains. Evacuees from Florida and Georgia are heading to or through the Palmetto State in large numbers.

52 shelters in 12 counties are on standby.

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

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