EDISTO BEACH, S.C. (WCBD)- Governor Henry McMaster is calling for the mandatory evacuation of barrier islands in Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton counties. This includes Edisto Beach. News 2 was there when the evacuations began on Saturday morning.
Sheriff’s deputies, police officers, and DNR officers split up across Edisto Beach knocking on doors, making sure everyone knows now is the time to evacuate. Storm surge pounded the coast during Hurricane Matthew, and more damage is anticipated from Hurricane Irma.
Edisto Beach Police Chief George Brothers says, “We are concerned this year more about storm surge than last year. We are expecting a higher storm surge. It’s such a big storm.”
Even though Edisto Beach is not expecting a direct hit, officials are still predicting dangerous conditions.
Chief Brothers says, “That’s one of my concerns, is that everyone’s been watching this track, they were all worried, and now that it’s going over to the western side of Florida they’re thinking it’s not a concern for us anymore. It is.”
SCDNR Officer Philip Robertson says, “It’s very positive right now. Everybody is prepared or preparing to leave even though we have a short time for evacuation that was announced last night.”
South Carolina DNR officers say the good news is most people have already evacuated or they are evacuating at some point today. But if people are refusing to leave, they are staying at their own risk.
Chief Brothers says, “The power will most likely be out, the water will most likely be out. There will be no emergency services. If they call 911, nobody’s coming. We can’t put our responders in danger because once the storm’s over, we’ve got to get them back and get them working again.”