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Beaufort Islands under mandatory evacuation

Beaufort Islands under mandatory evacuation

An evacuation order is expected for Saturday or Sunday.

The mandatory evacuation will take effect at 10:00 a.m. on September 9 for Barrier Islands in Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties.

"The southernmost coast of SC is expected to experience a storm surge from 4-6 feet above ground level, with the greatest chances for serious flooding occurring on Monday", said McMaster during a press briefing Friday evening.

As Irma approaches the region, its large swells, storm surge and high tides may cause water along the coast to rise 6 feet above ground level near Charleston, which Dixon said could have a "pretty devastating result".

Henry McMaster gave an update Saturday afternoon on the preparations state officials are making ahead of Hurricane Irma.

"We're not declaring this disaster over".

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

The National Hurricane Center's Thursday morning forecast has Irma on track to make landfall in Beaufort County.

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No other evacuations are being ordered in the state. Specifically, McMaster issued an executive order directing state agencies to "cease providing state or local funds, whether via grant, contract, state-administered federal funds, or any other form" to abortion providers.

McMaster took the opportunity to remind residents that even when the storm has passed, the challenges it brings will not be over.

Along with evacuees from South Carolina, McMaster announced the state is preparing shelters to receive evacuees from Florida and Georgia.

"You never know where a hurricane is going to go", he said.

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

South Carolina's emergency helpline is now active around the clock. But Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the path is too uncertain for people to relax. The order still applied to three counties. As of Friday evening, the storm is expected to reach Florida this weekend as a Category 4 or 5 storm and travel up the state to Georgia where it should trail off to the northwest into Alabama or Tennessee.

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

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