South Carolina citizens awaiting evacuation decision - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

South Carolina citizens awaiting evacuation decision

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is still monitoring the storm before making any decisions on evacuation. 

He's holding another conference Friday afternoon where he will hopefully state the decision. We spoke to emergency personnel to find out what they're doing in the meantime while they wait for their next orders. 

People and businesses are trying to get out of town ahead of evacuation orders. One market on Highway 278 in Bluffton even has a sign on the door that says 'We're closed for the safety of our employees and will be back after Irma.' 

Residents are taking steps to secure their property. We caught up with one homeowner who is boarding up the windows now in case he needs to leave later. Town officials are working closely with emergency management to get things in order ahead of the storm and to plan their attack once it passes. On Hilton Head, all the departments took a look at their resources and plans of action. 

"We began by filling our 14 generators throughout the town, fire station, pump stations at the town hall. We purchased a large quantity of fuel, about 3000 gallons of diesel fuel, about 7500 additional servings of water, and we've been prepping our fire stations, getting the hurricane screens ready and putting extra supplies into the fire station," said Ed Boring, Deputy Fire Chief, Hilton Head Island Fire and Rescue. 

Jasper County Fire and Rescue wrapped up their latest press conference Friday afternoon. They talked about the important decisions they have to make in the next 24 hours. They continue to reiterate the information that residents need to keep in mind. That includes considering the condition you could be faced with during and after the storm if you decide to stay...things like loss of power, lack of water, and limited emergency response. That's why officials are encouraging residents to get out while they can because there won't be anybody around to help you if you're in need. Traffic will cause its own set of problems. 

"What we have going on right now is just a voluntary evacuation. People on our side and now, state of Florida, and a part of Georgia have called for mandatory evacuations in certain areas, and that is really impacting our area. If the governor calls for a mandatory evacuation again, going back to asking people to leave, that's one reason we wanted people to get out ahead of time," said Chief Wilbur Daley, Jasper County Fire and Rescue. 

As of right now, the only shelters set to open in the Lowcountry on Saturday are in Hampton County. The shelter in Jasper County at the Ridgeland school will not open until a mandatory evacuation is issued. 

To follow up on Gov. McMaster's decision in regards to evacuation, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is holding another press conference Friday night at 6:30 p.m. We'll, of course, keep you updated on-air and online with any new information and their procedures over the next few days. 

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