SC Coast Braces For Hurricane Matthew; Plus, President Obama Will Visit NC Tuesday
As Hurricane Matthew approaches the Carolinas, Charleston has reportedly run out of sandbags after distributing more the 15,000 across the city -- more than have ever been distributed for any other storm.
As of Thursday afternoon, Hurricane Matthew is considered a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph.
At a Thursday press conference, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley urged coastal residents to move inland if they haven't already.
"As of 6 a.m. this morning, 175,000 people have evacuated." Governor Haley said. "That’s not enough. If you are still sitting at home, gas stations are getting ready to close, your pharmacies are getting ready to close. Everything is going to leave."
A forecast map issued by the National Weather Service shows that as much as 14 inches of rain could fall in the Charleston and Georgetown areas between Thursday night and Sunday night as the hurricane passes at sea.
Ron Morales with the National Weather Service in Charleston says coastal residents should take orders to evacuate seriously.
"We want to let people know that this is not a joke. This is not something that you should take lightly," Morales said, "This is one of the stronger storms we've had around in the area for quite a long time. In fact, it has a track similar to Hazel, that hit the North Carolina/South Carolina coast as a Category 4 years ago."
Hurricane Hazel was one of the deadliest hurricanes to hit the U.S. in 1954. It caused more than $300 million in damage, and saw storm surges as high as 18 feet.
In North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory says the latest predictions show the North Carolina coast may avoid a direct hit from the hurricane, but coastal areas are still expected to see high winds, rain, and storm surges on Saturday. Cities like Jacksonville and Morehead City could see wind gusts of up to 60 mph beginning Saturday.
Widespread power outages are possible, and some areas could receive up to a foot of rain.
Deadly Shooting By SC Deputy On Evacuation Route
A driver who was shot by a South Carolina deputy on a Hurricane Matthew evacuation route has died, according to a Berkeley County coroner.
The Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis says the driver, 35-year-old Lucas Felkel of Moncks Corner, entered a checkpoint on Wednesday, knocked down several traffic cones, made remarks to the officers, and sped off. The sheriff says when deputies caught up with the driver several miles away, he began shooting at them. Deputies returned fire, wounding the man. He died Wednesday night at a hospital.
No deputies were wounded. The sheriff says four deputies have been placed on administrative leave. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating. Authorities identified Felkel and the deputies as white.
President Obama Travels To Greensboro Next Week
President Barack Obama will be in North Carolina next Tuesday. He'll be campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Greensboro. The Clinton campaign says the president will will encourage people to take advantage of early in-person voting, which begins October 20.
Obama's visit comes shortly after a visit by the first lady, who traveled to Charlotte on Tuesday for a campaign event on Clinton's behalf. President Obama and Clinton held their first joint campaign event in Charlotte this past July.