The latest on Hurricane Irma as it moves toward Florida

The latest on Hurricane Irma as it moves toward Florida

The latest on Hurricane Irma as it moves toward Florida

"I'm real proud of the way that team SC has devised, through a lot of work and a lot of thought, a grand plan that so far is working extremely well", said McMaster.

"If you can leave now, go ahead", the governor advised citizens.

No other S.C. counties are under evacuation order.

Other topics included tropical storm watches from the South Santee River to north of Edisto Beach, a hurricane watch issued from Edisto Beach to the state's southern border, and a storm surge watch issued from Isle of Palms to the South Carolina/Georgia border. No official announcement has been made yet about canceling school early next week.

"The state of emergency allows one of the best, most experienced emergency response teams in the entire world to begin organizing response efforts", said Gov. Henry McMaster. "We've got a great plan". Comfort stations, message boards and motorist assistance vehicles will be available.

The governor asked South Carolinians to avoid using the interstates if possible to help cut down on traffic.

Still, as of Thursday they said I-95 traffic near the border was moving at about 15-20 miles per hour.

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The latest on Hurricane Irma as it moves toward Florida

McMaster took the opportunity to remind residents that even when the storm has passed, the challenges it brings will not be over.

"We know our roads are going to face maximum capacity", state Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said.

"The latest projections suggest (Irma) stays south and west of our area, to weaken substantially, and to rain itself out enough to not pose any significant threat", said Dave Nicosia, meteorological warning coordinator for the National Weather Service in Binghamton. Instead of slow-moving rains, Irma poses the most danger with high winds and storm surge. That track could take Irma west of SC.

"There is potential for tree damage, loss of power and water on these islands", Tanner said. But Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the path is too uncertain for people to relax.

Ryan Mosier, a spokesman for Duke Energy, said Duke, which also has customers in Florida, is focused on Irma. "We must be ready to respond, no matter what comes our way", Ivey said.

McMaster said 2,358 law enforcement officers are assigned to the storm, 5,000 National Guard members will be deployed by Tuesday and 1,200 DOT maintenance workers will be assigned to evacuation routes.

"It is coming", he said.

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