State, local officials give update on Irma preps

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD/AP) — State and local leaders will hold news conferences at various times on Friday, September 8 to give residents updates on preparations for Hurricane Irma and the storm’s potential impacts.

Governor Henry McMaster held a media briefing with state emergency response officials at 2 p.m. at the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia.

At the conference, McMaster urged residents to avoid traveling on the state’s “big highways” as people escape Hurricane Irma’s path.

We learned tens of thousands of extra vehicles are on South Carolina’s roads, particularly Interstate 95. The highway stretches from Florida up the East Coast.

Department of Transportation Secretary Christy Hall says there were 92,000 more vehicles than normal on Interstates 95 and 20 as of noon Friday.

Hall says traffic is heavy on Interstates 95 and 26 and U.S. Highway 321 but traffic is still moving.

McMaster is awaiting the next update from the National Hurricane Center before deciding whether to order anyone to evacuate their homes.

He says 2,400 National Guard soldiers and nearly 2,800 state and local law enforcement officers are on duty awaiting potential orders.

McMaster will hold another media briefing with state emergency response officials at 6 p.m. after the 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.  We will learn then whether evacuations will be ordered.

Charleston County officials held a news conference at 3 p.m. at the Charleston County Emergency Management in North Charleston.

RELATED: News 2 Hurricane Central

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