Coastal evacuations ordered; Classes cancelled for 26 school districts ahead of Hurricane Matthew

Nikki Haley
(AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Twenty-five school districts in South Carolina will be closed starting Wednesday ahead of evacuation orders for the Lowcountry and coastal communities.

At a news conference on Tuesday, October 4, Governor Haley said in addition to school districts, county offices in Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Beaufort, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Lexington, Marlboro, Marion, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties will close as well.

The governor is asking residents to evacuate 100 miles away from the coast. Haley reiterated there is no longer voluntary or mandatory evacuations, only evacuations.

Residents in the following evacuation zones should make preparations for a potential evacuation beginning at 3: p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, October 5, 2016:

Beaufort: Zone A, Entire county
Jasper: A and B
Colleton: A Only
Charleston: A,B,C
Dorchester: B,D,E, and F
Berkeley: A,B,C,G, and I
Horry: A only
Georgetown: A only

Know Your Zone: Your zone is how you will know to evacuate and which evacuation route to use. This information is detailed in the 2016 S.C. Hurricane Guide and available via in interactive map at

Lane reversals will go into effect starting 3 p.m. We’re told the start time can be pushed back as Haley sees fit.

Consider the safety of pets: Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters.  Individuals and families should plan to board pets with veterinarians, kennels, or other facilities in non-vulnerable areas.  Identification and rabies tags should be attached to the pets’ collars.

Right now, it is believed that 1.1 million people will be evacuating. South Carolina is currently under a state of emergency.

The storm was about 1,000 miles from Charleston on Tuesday, But forecasters predict the hurricane will move near or along South Carolina’s coast late Friday into early Saturday as a category 2 storm.

The state Climatology Office says a hurricane has not made landfall in South Carolina since Gaston moved ashore north of Charleston in August 2004.

If the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane watch, a hurricane will be possible within 48 hours, and residents who live in vulnerable areas should stay tuned.  If a hurricane warning is issued, a hurricane is expected within 36 hours.  If you live in a highly vulnerable area and are advised to evacuate, you should be prepared to leave immediately.  The state urges individuals and families to do the following:

Everyone in South Carolina is urged to continue to monitor the developing forecasts from the National Hurricane Center through local news media and trusted sources online. Pay attention to emergency warnings from local and state public safety officials and take safety actions if instructed to do so.

South Carolina’s Emergency Response Team is operating 24-hours a day from the state’s emergency operations center preparing for hazardous conditions associated with Hurricane Matthew.

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