Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has ordered a mandatory partial evacuation of the barrier islands in just three counties along South Carolina's coast, as the state prepares for the potential impacts of Hurricane Irma.
No other parts of the state are under the order.
The following barrier islands are part of the evacuation order:
Colleton County - Edisto
Beaufort County - Daufuskie, Fripp, Harbor, Hunting, Hilton Head
Jasper - Knowles, Tuellifini
Shelters will be opened in the counties at the following locations:
Colleton County - Colleton Middle School
Jasper County - Ridgeland High Jr and Elementary - Jasper County
Beaufort County - Bluffton High School and Battery Creek High School
McMaster said the order will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Tolls have been suspended on the Cross Island Parkway.
Local roads in the area may be reversed, but the governor is leaving that decision to local officials.
Coastal flooding is already occurring in parts of the Lowcountry, and forecasters say there is a chance of significant storm surge, even if the storm doesn't make a direct hit on the state.
The SC Emergency Management Division is asking people toward the coast to Know Their Zone ahead of time so they'll be ready if the order comes.
They've created an interactive map that lets users zoom in on their region.
The map also has good information about storm surge.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation has an interactive map of their own which shows the evacuation routes that people along the coast will need to take.
Hilton Head Island and Beaufort Areas
Hilton Head Island...
• Hilton Head Island evacuees will use both the William Hilton Parkway (US 278 Business) and the Cross Island
Parkway toll facility (US 278).
• As these two roads merge, a third lane will be formed by reversing flow on the inside eastbound lane of US
278. This lane will carry traffic from the toll facility to the three lane section beginning on the mainland.
• Lane assignments will be as follows:
1. The right lane on US 278 westbound will exit onto
SC 170, proceed to SC 462, then be directed to I-95 northbound at I-95 exit 28.
2. The center lane on US 278 westbound will become the right lane at SC 170 which will be directed to
I-95 northbound at exit 8.
3. The left lane on US 278 westbound at SC 170 will continue on US 278 to Hampton and eventually to
• Two-Lane Evacuation: Evacuees will use the two present northbound lanes on US 21 to US 17. Upon
reaching US 17, the right lane will be directed to US 17 North to SC 303 to Walterboro. The left lane will
be directed to US 17 South, then to US 17 Alt/US 21 to Yemassee and then ultimately to North Augusta.
• Three-Lane Evacuation: Under certain conditions, a third northbound lane will be formed by reversing flow in
the inside southbound lane of US 21 at US 21 Business west of Beaufort, accommodating traffic from US 21.
This reversed lane will be directed to US 17 southbound and eventually I-95 northbound at exit 33 (Point
South). The remaining two lanes will be used as described above for the two-lane evacuation.