Hurricane Irma Updates
With Hurricane Irma slowly but determinedly making its way toward the southeastern United States—and a possible landfall in the South Carolina Lowcountry, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for the Palmetto State and is urging all residents to prepare for Irma. As the path and landfall of this hurricane is still uncertain, the Guardian will keep its readers informed and updated of any changes to the path of this storm, evacuations, announcements, closings or other breaking news via this website and on our Facebook page.
Hampton County Emergency Preparedness Director Susanne Peeples is advising any Hampton County-area resident with Hurricane Irma questions to call 1-803-914-2158 instead of the main office numbers. Business owners or managers with questions related to your business’ operations should contact Sandra Crews at 914-2100.
Below is the latest news:
Gov. Henry McMaster, State Officials Announce Preparations for Hurricane Irma
Governor Issues Executive Order Evacuating Hospitals, Nursing Homes
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Governor Henry McMaster today held a media briefing with state emergency response officials to provide an update on the potential impact of Hurricane Irma on South Carolina and announce preparation plans put in place by executive order to reduce the risk of life-threatening situations arising, should the storm directly affect the state.
Today, the governor issued Executive Order 2017-23, ordering the evacuation of all healthcare facilities, to include hospitals and nursing homes in specific coastal counties. Facilities in the following counties and evacuation zones will begin evacuation today:
Beaufort, all zones
Charleston, zones A,B,C
Dorchester, zones B,D,E,F
Berkeley, zones B,G
Colleton, zones A,B
Jasper, zones A,B
Georgetown, zones A,B
Horry, zones A,B
For a full listing of evacuation zones, visit EMD's website.
Additionally, the governor issued Executive Order 2017-22, ordering all dam owners throughout the state to evaluate and assess current water levels to determine whether levels can be safely lowered to accommodate anticipated rises in water level.
The governor's order directly asks dam owners to coordinate with property owners downstream to minimize additional damage and authorizes the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to act as necessary to protect life and property as the state prepares for the storm. DHEC is available to assist in assessing water levels at 803-898-1939.
Team South Carolina Irma preparation by the numbers:
2,370 public and private dams in South Carolina to begin lowering water levels if necessary to accommodate heavy rainfall
2,358 State and local law enforcement officers on duty for potential evacuation
Available on duty South Carolina National Guard: Today - 800 Sunday - 2,500 Tuesday - 5,000
200 Red Cross shelters if needed
2,900 Department of Social Services and Red Cross personnel available
1,200 South Carolina Department of Transportation maintenance personnel working evacuation routes
- According to a Thursday morning update from the National Weather Service, the entire state of South Carolina is now in the cone of uncertainty and Hurricane Irma could be a Category 2 or 3 storm if or when it makes landfall in the Lowcountry. The southern part of the state could begin feelling hurricane force winds by Monday, with the eye of the storm over the state by early Tuesday morning. Stay tuned for updates.
- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a mandatory evacuation order for Chatham County and the Savannah area.
Gov. Henry McMaster, State Officials to Hold Hurricane Irma Briefing
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Governor Henry McMaster will hold a media briefing with state emergency response officials today, Thursday, September 7 at 2:00 PM. The governor will update the public on Hurricane Irma's potential impact to South Carolina.
WHO: Gov. Henry McMaster, state officials
WHAT: Media briefing regarding Hurricane Irma
WHEN: Today, Thursday, September 7 at 2:00 PM
WHERE: South Carolina Emergency Operations Center, 2779 Fish Hatchery Road, West Columbia, S.C.
-The Town of Yemassee Municipal Complex will be closed Friday September 7, 2017 until further notice. Yemassee Town Council meeting for September 12, 2017 at 6:30PM has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
- The Town of Hampton Council meeting has been moved from Sept. 12 to Sept. 19.
- The Estill Town Hall will be closed from Sept. 8 to Sept. 11 due to Hurricane Irma. Please use the drop boxes for utility payments.
- All classes at the Technical College of the Lowcountry are cancelled beginning at noon Thursday, Sept. 7, until further notice. Check www.tcl.edu/emergency for the latest information.
- SCDOT Activates Storm Resources Web Page
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has activated a Hurricane Irma page on the agency’s website, www.scdot.org, to provide one location for online resources to help motorists cope with the storm.
The site features evacuation routes, road closings on an interactive map, the SCDOT 511 Traveler System, storm reports, press releases, social media messaging and links to other state and federal agencies.
- SCDOT Restricts Lane Closures on all South Carolina Interstates
- Due to Hurricane Irma
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has restricted lane closures for non-emergency highway work on all interstate highways in South Carolina to help travel conditions impacted by Hurricane Irma.
SCDOT expects increased interstate travel from Florida and Georgia.
The restrictions are in effect today, Sept. 7, 2017, until further notice. SCDOT has notified private contractors of these restrictions.