COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – During a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Nikki Haley announced that they will be evacuating all coastal communities in anticipation for Hurricane Matthew.
Governor Haley stated that they will be closing all schools along the coast as well to use them for shelters.
The counties under evacuation are Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, and Jasper Counties.
Schools will be close in all of those counties in addition to Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Hampton, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg.
Medical Evacuations have already begun for all coastal communities. Starting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, lane reversals will begin on I-26 and other routes leading out of the coastal communities.
Full list of lane reversals:
- Hilton Head One lane is reversed to create three lanes traveling west on US 278 at the intersection of the Spanish Wells Drive and Moss Creek Village Drive. This reversal is approximately two miles in length.
- Beaufort US 21 is reversed to create three lanes at US 21 Business and continues until US 17.
- Charleston to Columbia A full, four lane reversal on I-26 in Charleston begins at the interchange of I-26 and I-526. The full reversal continues west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County.
- Horry County Horry County has two, four lane reversals:
- SC 544 to US 378
- SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to SC 576 near Marion County
3,700 law enforcement are headed to those communities to assist with the evacuations and National Guard helicopters from Tennessee and Kentucky are on standby.
1,700 sandbags are headed to Georgetown and more than 200 buses from Greenville County Schools are headed to the coast to assist as well.
“South Carolina is strong. I am very proud of Team South Carolina, we are ready,” said Haley during a news briefing Tuesday.
Governor Haley is urging residents who are evacuating to fill up their cars with fuel, gather important documents, and inform family members where they are headed.
In addition, Gov. Haley also issued a state-wide burn ban in order to allow the Forestry Commission and local fire departments to focus on evacuation and other emergency operations.
Stay tuned here and to www.scemd.org for evacuations and shelters.