State officials urging people to evacuate as Dorian heads closer to S.C.
Although downgraded to a Category 2 storm, Hurricane Dorian continues to approach the coast of South Carolina.
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — Although downgraded to a Category 2 storm, Hurricane Dorian continues to approach the coast of South Carolina. Right now, it’s projected to hit Wednesday into Thursday, and officials continue to prepare for the worst.
Currently, Dorian is not expected to make landfall in South Carolina. But that could change with any movement of its path. Evacuations are still underway and are still mandatory for those in coastal Carolina counties.
“We are confident that we are going to have a lot of flooding,” said Governor Henry McMaster.
State agencies continue to work 24/7 to monitor Dorian’s path and potential impacts.
“In particular locations, the water can get 4 to 7 feet above ground level along parts of the coast. That’s pretty significant,” said John Quagliariello with the National Weather Service.
Of the 830,000 people in the evacuation zones, not even half have left yet.
“We’ve had 244,000 evacuees leave the coastal area. 88,000 we estimated were carried on I-26 alone,” said SCDOT Sec. Christy Hall. The lane reversals will continue until further notice, for people to continue evacuating the Lowcountry.
Agencies are now preparing for rescue operations near the coast.
“FEMA Urban Search and Rescue is going to have federal rescue teams here in state, staged and for the ready should they be needed,” said State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones.
Only schools and government offices in the mandatory evacuation zone are staying closed.
“They will remain closed in those counties, those eight counties, until further notice,” said McMaster.
The main message from officials? If you are in an evacuation zone and have not yet left, now is the time to go.
“When it becomes too dangerous for the rescuers to go in and everybody’s on their own. So to be safe, you need to leave those areas that have been declared for the evacuation. That’s the only way to be safe,” said McMaster.