“As we’ve said and seen before, hurricane forecast tracks can change”, Cooper said.
Governor McMaster said Jasper, Colleton and Beaufort Counties can expect the heaviest rains and highest winds.
Plenty of hotel rooms in SC are available, McMaster noted, particularly in the Myrtle Beach area and the Upstate.
“We thought yesterday we had a really bad storm that would impact this county severely”.
“There will be no other evacuations for other counties”, McMaster said.
“If there’s a freight train coming at you, then you get off the tracks”, Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman said Thursday.
Meanwhile, at least one freestanding health care facility is making plans to move patients.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday night issued a state of emergency ahead of the storm’s arrival.
On Thursday, concern for the Southeast coast began to turn to the potential for what one forecasters called record storm surge from a storm about as large as SC.
FOX 5 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist David Chandley said the greatest threat in north Georgia appears to be the winds which could be as high in some areas as 65 miles per hour with higher gusts.
“If all of that rain doesn’t come at one time, our creeks have the ability to handle it”, Player said.
General Livingston says we may see military movement and helicopters flying in SC. But because of the size of the hurricane, Florida’s east coast remains in danger, including from storm surges that will easily overwhelm some areas.
“District administrators will continue monitoring the course of Hurricane Irma and work in collaboration with emergency management officials to evaluate projections and conditions throughout the weekend and Monday”, the press release stated.
The National Hurricane Center downgraded Irma to a Category 3 storm Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extended out nearly 70 miles from the eye of the storm.
There will be a total of 23 shelters open around the state by the end of Sunday, with a total capacity of 13,000.
So where should evacuating residents go? Pets are not allowed at evacuation shelters.
Cooper said traffic has increased throughout the state and is expected to increase more with new evacuations from Florida. He also cautioned against topping off gas tanks every day.
Georgia Gwinnett College announced it would close its campus at 5 p.m Saturday.
The Department of Natural Resources is monitoring water levels to monitor river flooding.
If Irma sticks to a more westward inland path, it could arrive in Georgia as a weakened tropical storm.
◆ An estimated 2 to 4 inches of rainfall Monday and Tuesday. Irma will move along or near Florida’s southwest coast Sunday afternoon.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, dressed in his military fatigues as a member of the state national guard, reminded residents that the state’s price-gouging laws are in full effect, prohibiting anyone from selling goods or lodging at an “unconscionable price” during the emergency situation.