COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she plans to issue an evacuation order Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Matthew so that 1 million people can safely and comfortably leave the coast.
Related link: Track Matthew in Hurricane Central
Haley said at a Tuesday news conference that she will finalize the order Wednesday morning, unless there is a major shift in the storm’s track. Haley says she expects the evacuation to begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Schools in Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Lee, Marion, Marlboro and Williamsburg counties will be closed on Wednesday, the governor said.
The governor advises the people of South Carolina to fill their cars up with gas and get at least 100 miles away from the coast.
State officials say lanes on major evacuation routes will be reversed. It would be the first major evacuation since Hurricane Floyd in 1999, when the governor at the time didn’t reverse the lanes and Interstate 26 became backed up for hours and traffic was at a standstill. A two-hour drive from Charleston to Columbia turned into 24-hour nightmare.
Haley said there will be 3,700 officials and the National Guard present on the roads to help with the evacuations.
Residents in the following evacuation zones should make preparations for a potential evacuation beginning at 3 p.m., Wednesday.
Beaufort: Zone A, Entire county
Jasper: A and B
Colleton: A Only
Charleston: A, B, C
Dorchester: B, D, E, and F
Berkeley: A, B, C, G, and I
Horry: A only
Georgetown: A only