West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says, "it's not too late to go, and it's time" to residents who still have not evacuated the coast during his daily briefing on the state's response to Hurricane Irma.
Governor McMaster says he spoke with President Trump this morning, who says he is with us and will do anything needed to help the people of South Carolina.
Governor McMaster says what worries him the most is the wind and flooding potential to hurt people and destroy property. Says the Midlands can expect high winds and rain.
Governor McMaster says over 54,000 sand bags have been filled, and thousands are left for anyone in need.
DHEC says regulated dam owners have been notified to lower water levels and that they've inspected over 90 dams across the state.
Governor McMaster says nothing has changed regarding the evacuations on Beaufort, Colleton, and Jasper Counties. McMaster says there will be national guard and law enforcement patrolling the barrier islands, not leaving it open to thieves. He went on to say mischief makers or anyone who tries to take advantage of this storm will not be tolerated, will be arrested on sight and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Governor McMaster says there is no predication on when evacuated areas will reopen, and he will do so when it's determined safe to do so.
Governor McMaster says there are 579 national guard on duty, 100 troopers assisting law enforcement, and 89 state guardsmen on duty.
There will be a total of 23 shelters open around the state by the end of Sunday, with a total capacity of 13,000.
SCE&G says they are prepared to fix power issues as they come. Asks people to immediately report a downed line. Says lines are hard to distinguish between telephone and power, and that you should not go near it.
Governor McMaster says lane reversals are possible in Beaufort County, but are not likely to happen.
We do have shortages and outages, but we are not facing a statewide outage. Bigger name stations generally aren’t effected. If you do not find gas at one location, you are likely to find some at another.
Attorney General says there have been 250 complaints of price gouging, mainly gas, water, etc. Says this is less than previous natural disasters, and that complaints will be looked into after the event is over.
Aid to Other States
General Livingston says we may see military movement and helicopters flying in South Carolina. They are on their way to help partners in Florida and Georgia. Six hundred and fifty troopers will go to help Florida.
Governor McMaster says the Midlands should prepare themselves for a lot of wind and rain. The statewide hotline for Hurricane Irma Information is 1-866-246-0133.