Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered an evacuation of many coastal communities and cancelled school in over half the state in advance of declared a state of emergency in South Carolina and is calling for some evacuations in the Lowcountry in advance of Hurricane Matthew.
Haley said the medical evacuations began Tuesday, and general evacuations are set to start at 3 p.m. Schools and government offices in the Lowcountry are also closed. Lane reversals will also begin at that time. (You can see the evacuation zones at the bottom of this article)
"If you can leave early do that, the goal is to not leave all at once," Haley said.
An estimated 1.1 million could have to be evacuated.
The governor said the goal is to have everyone within 100 miles of the coast gone. She said storm surges of 5 to 7 feet are possible, and winds of 100 miles an hour are expected.
"as of right now we're looking for Friday night into Saturday being pretty brutal," Haley
Many Midlands school districts will also be closed starting Wednesday. Here is the full list of schools that will be closed statewide: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg. Those districts will be closed for the remainder of the week.
County offices in those areas will also be closed.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to reach the South Carolina coast Friday. Winds of 100 miles an hour are possible along the South Carolina coast.
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Below is the evacuation zone maps for South Carolina: (Having trouble seeing this? Click here)