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Gov. McMaster Urges Residents In Evacuation Zone To Leave While They Can

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster gives an update on flooding from Florence Sept. 18.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster gives an update on Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 4.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said Wednesday that residents in evacuation zones still have time to leave before conditions deteriorate overnight as Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast of South Carolina. Substantial flooding has already begun in Charleston due to high tides of about 10 1/2 feet. McMaster said residents who decide to stay shouldn't underestimate the danger they may face.

“It is the water that kills people. It is the water that is the real danger and it is clear that we are going to have a lot of water. Hurricane Dorian’s storm surge will be able to be felt this afternoon and it will be pushing the water inland.” 

McMaster said residents who choose to stay can expect flooding, violent wind gusts, downed trees, and the loss of electricity for an extended period of time. He urged residents to follow evacuation orders as first responders will not be available during the storm.

“If you are still in an evacuation zone you still have time to get out, but time to get out is running out.” 

As of Tuesday morning, about 360,000 people have evacuated from South Carolina’s coast. State officials ended the I-26 lane reversal Wednesday afternoon, which allowed both sides of traffic to drive away from the storm.

McMaster said officials are expecting the category 2 Hurricane to hit the Beaufort and Hilton Head area around 6 Thursday morning, making its way up the coast to Charleston, Georgetown, and Myrtle Beach before reaching North Carolina.