Storm Watch : Mandatory Evacuations Ordered for Carolinas and Virginia

In the face of an impending Hurricane, Saturday night…government officials of the Carolinas and Virginia have issued a mandatory evacuation for its residents. Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina in coordination with state and local officials “has lifted the mandatory evacuation order for zones in Beaufort, Colleton, and jasper counties, with the exception of Edisto Beach. The mandatory evacuation executive order remains in effect for all zones in Horry, Georgetown, Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties and for Edisto Beach” (SCETV).

In preparation for the rush of evacuees, McMaster has ordered a lane reversal on all lanes on the I-26 from Charleston in order to accommodate all traffic leaving the area in one direction due to mandatory evacuations. “Highways will be reversed so everyone can get out” stated McMaster. 

He continues to elaborate on the evacuation order and its effects. “The evacuation order will be inconvenient but we do not want to sacrifice one South Carolina life, we are not going to gamble with the lives of South Carolina People”. The State of Emergency Response Team of South Carolina is set to open up around 28 evacuation shelters that will be ready to accommodate approximately 25,000 people and more to come as needed.

When asked about the President’s approval of the emergency order, McMaster stated that “emergency declaration from the president, opens the door to: federal help, assistance, funds, in a variety of ways”. McMaster continues to mention that he and the president spoke briefly on the phone about the ongoing emergency situation and how the federal government can provide support in this emergency situation. The state of South Carolina has been approved for Direct Federal Assistance which would allow South Carolina to procure emergency supplies, food, and generators through FEMA.

As seen in the graphic above, the National Hurricane Center has released a discussion regarding the developments of Hurricane Florence. The NHS stated that “recon data indicates that the eye has now expanded to a diameter of 30-32 nautical miles”. 

The NHS continues to report that Hurricane Florence is expected to keep moving west-northwestward to northwest at around 15 kt over the next two days. It is expected that damaging hurricane-force winds are imminent along the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina and we can see high speed winds spread well into the inland areas of the Carolinas and Virginia. 

Residents are advised to prepare as much as they can for the incoming hurricane. For those evacuating, officials recommend making preparations for shelter, food & water, medicine and gas. Hotels and other evacuation accommodations have begun to fill up within the immediate areas and officials are recommending researching other alternatives to immediate Hotels, such as using travel websites and air n b to research alternative accommodations.

Despite executing a mandatory evacuation order…some residents are choosing to board up and hold their ground. The State of Emergency Response Team advises that residents within the immediate hurricane affected areas to evacuate and find a safer means of shelter. To those that are still choosing to stay put, The State of Emergency Response Team will still be available if the need arises for rescue operations.

For any emergencies requiring immediate attention, please contact your local emergency services.