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McMaster orders evacuation of several barrier islands

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Barrier islands in Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper counties are under mandatory evacuation as of Saturday at 10 a.m., S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said tonight, as Hurricane Irma continues toward the eastern U.S. at 12 miles per hour.

The deadly storm has devastated several islands in the Caribbean and caused massive evacuations across Florida and Georgia. The storm is projected to make landfall Sunday night or Monday morning near the Florida keys, possibly on the western side of the state.

No other S.C. counties are under evacuation order. Interstate 26 lanes will not be reversed as of the latest update from the governor.

The following counties’ islands are under evacuation order starting Saturday morning:

Colleton County:

  • Edisto Beach

Beaufort County:

  • Dafuskie Island
  • Fripp Island
  • Harbor Island
  • Hunting Island
  • Hilton Head Island

Jasper County:

  • Knowles Island
  • Tulifinny Island

Decisions on lane reversals in those areas will be made as needed.

McMaster said all S.C. residents should continue preparing for impacts from the storm, and warned that the storm’s path could change by tomorrow.

John Quagliariello, an official with the National Weather Service, said swells will likely be four to six feet high, four to 10 inches of rain are possible, tropical wind storm gusts can range from 30 to 70 miles per hour and flooding is expected, particularly on Monday.

Higher than normal tides are expected to worsen flooding conditions. The threat of tornadoes still exists throughout the state.

Quagliariello said the hurricane’s change in direction is good news for the state, but impacts are still expected from Hurricane Irma, and any shifts will change the impacted areas. 

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

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