Hurricane Florence evacuation update

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – Three counties are no longer required to evacuate, but South Carolina’s emergency management team is still urging people to take caution, and prepare now. They say no matter where Florence hits, South Carolina will see several effects including hurricane winds up to 130 miles per hour, a storm surge, excessive rainfall and flooding.

John Quagliariello with the National Weather Service said “There is some concern that residents in the evacuation zones will see the track and think the storm will not pose a threat. But it’s important to remember the impacts of this hurricane will extend far beyond where it makes landfall.”

The South Carolina National Guard has already deployed 1,800 troops, and Adjutant General Robert Livingston said “It takes 36-48 hours to evacuate the coast. A storm can make a change in 2-3 hours, which is unpredictable. So, as the governor says, we have to err on the side of  caution to make sure all of our citizens are safe.”

South Carolina Department of Transportation and South Carolina Department of Public Safety says highways are seeing 4-6 times the amount of traffic volume they’re used to. They say the lane reversals will be critical for the more than a million people trying to evacuate. Right now there are 1,800 troops on duty, and nearly 3,000 ready to mobilize if necessary.

Governor Henry McMaster said “We must be flexible, we must be alert.”

Lane reversals will be in place until 6 hours before the storm hits so that officers and all their equipment can get to safety.

“We are in a very deadly and important game of chess with Hurricane Florence.” McMaster said. “And what we’re doing, Team South Carolina, is staying one step ahead.”

There are 28 shelters ready to take in 25-thousand people fleeing the storm.

Duane Parrish, director of parks, recreation and travel said you can also use sites like travelocity, expedia and airbnb to find open rooms for refuge.

“We’re taking this extremely seriously. This is something we haven’t seen since Hurricane Hugo.” Said Livingston. “Even if the hurricane goes slightly north, we’ll see effects like we saw in Charleston during Hugo. So this is a very serious storm.”

Categories: Local News, News, State