McMaster expects to issue evacuation order, reverse lanes on I-26 at 10 a.m. Saturday


By Patrick Phillips, Digital Content Manager


COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) -

Gov. Henry McMaster said he plans to issue orders to evacuate and reverse lanes on I-26 that would take effect at 10 a.m. Saturday.

He stopped short of actually ordering a mandatory evacuation, but said those plans are based on the current information coming in on the projected path of Hurricane Irma and its potential impact on South Carolina.

He said any mandatory evacuation order would at least involve coastal counties but could include additional counties depending on where the storm would most likely make landfall.

If lane reversals do happen, they would take place on I-26 from Charleston to I-77, he said.

In the meantime, he urged South Carolinians to look up their evacuation zones and check for established evacuation routes for their communities.

McMaster also ordered health care facilities along the coast to begin evacuations effective Thursday at 2 p.m.

McMaster said he does not anticipate a gas shortage but warns other state's interstate highways are already experiencing traffic jams because of evacuations from Florida. On Wednesday, traffic on I-95 was up 40 percent because of Florida evacuations, he said.

South Carolina Adj. Gen. Bob Livingston said the South Carolina National Guard is preparing for a Category 4 storm to make landfall, though they expect it will likely be a Category 3 storm.

Livingston said 800 National Guardsmen have been activated to assist with planning and lane reversals.

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