Is Charleston, South Carolina Evacuating Because of Hurricane Irma?


South Carolina’s governor has declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Irma shifts to the east and some models are projecting it will hit the state. However, is Charleston, South Carolina evacuating?

Initially, the governor had said he was going to order mandatory coastal evacuations. However, recent forecast models on September 8 showed the storm shifting to the west and running through Florida and Georgia, not South Carolina. The governor has now decided to wait a bit longer before deciding.

“Gov. Henry McMaster said he plans on issuing mandatory coastal evacuations starting at 10 a.m. Saturday along with a complete lane reversal of Interstate 26 from Charleston to Columbia as Hurricane Irma heads toward South Carolina,” The Post and Courier initially reported on September 7. “Lane reversals also will take place out of Myrtle Beach (U.S. 501), Beaufort (U.S. 21) and Hilton Head Island (U.S. 278) under evacuation orders.”

However, on September 8, the newspaper reported an update: “Gov. Henry McMaster said he is waiting to see the progress of Hurricane Irma before making a final call on coastal evacuations later Friday​. McMaster said at a media briefing Friday that state leaders will assess the 5 p.m. update from the National Weather Service and then announce whether or not to reverse highway lanes on Saturday.”

Gov. Henry McMaster on Day 2 of Hurricane Irma preparationsSouth Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster provides an update on Hurricane Irma preparations on Thursday, Sept. 7.2017-09-07T19:56:29.000Z

The governor did order evacuations of hospitals and nursing homes in some counties:

Forecasts from previous days had shown South Carolina more in peril. Look what they showed on September 8, though:

spaghetti model

South Florida Waste Management DistrictFriday morning September 8 spaghetti model.

The state of emergency the governor declared previously allows emergency management officials “to begin execution of our state Hurricane preparedness plan on the state and local level. It also allows the National Guard to preposition resources and move people… in anticipation of evacuation, probably of the low country, and in anticipation of landfall of the hurricane,” he added.

hurricane irma

NWSHurricane Irma on Friday September 8 at 5 p.m.

Forecast models show Hurricane Irma “may pose a significant threat” to South Carolina, the governor’s state of emergency declaration for the State of South Carolina said.

Check out the South Carolina evacuation route map here.

This is the state’s map of Charleston evacuation routes. You can see the maps for other South Carolina cities here.

Here is the text version of the South Carolina evacuation routes.

Authorities suggested that people stock up on supplies, like bottled water.

You can watch the South Carolina governor’s September 6 press conference here:

Hurricane Irma Briefing 2pm September 62017-09-06T19:49:23.000Z

Hurricane conditions were listed as possible on Sunday by the National Weather Service forecast for Charleston, earlier in the week but the September 8 forecast only lists tropical storm conditions being possible on Monday.