South Carolina Gov Orders Mass Evacuation Of Coast And Charleston, One Million Affected, Eight Counties

South Carolina’s The State reports:

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster announced a mandatory evacuation of the South Carolina coast on Monday. Eight counties along the coast would begin evacuating as of noon on Tuesday, McMaster said at a press briefing on Monday.

McMaster said he would reverse lanes on four main roads to facilitate the evacuation. As many as a million people could leave the coast because of the order, the governor said. “We know the evacuation order I’m issuing will be inconvenient,” McMaster said. “But we’re not going to gamble with the lives of the people of South Carolina.”

As of noon Tuesday, lanes will reverse on Interstate 26 from Charleston to Columbia and Highway 501 from Myrtle Beach. Highways 278 and 21 in Beaufort County will be ready for reversal as of noon, but officials will wait to make an order at that time.

The Post & Courier reports:

One out of every five South Carolinians, about 1 million in all, are in the evacuation zones covering eight counties.

By midday Monday, the hurricane blew winds near 130 mph, reaching Category 4 strength capable of devastating damage. Forecasters expect Florence to make landfall somewhere near Wilmington, N.C., before sunrise on Friday with winds as strong as 120 mph.

About 3,000 state transportation workers are ready to deploy if needed to fix roads and bridges. Some 440 state law enforcement officers are already along the coast to secure homes and businesses left by evacuees along with 1,600 National Guard soldiers. The number of guard soldiers is expected to double as Florence arrives.