Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has issued mandatory evacuations for all of South Carolina's coast, which he says means more than a million people will have to leave their homes. He also said that many school districts including in the Midlands will be shut down because of the threat of the dangerous and powerful Hurricane Florence.
McMaster announced the plans Monday afternoon at the state's emergency operations center. Florence is currently a Category 4, which is a 'major hurricane' capable of catastrophic damage.
Northern South Carolina Coast (All Zones)
• Horry County Evacuation Zones A, B, C
• Georgetown County Evacuation Zones A, B, C
Central South Carolina Coast (All Zones)
• Charleston County Evacuation Zones A, B, C
• Dorchester County Evacuation Zones D, E, F
• Berkeley County Evacuation Zones B, G, H, I
Southern Coast (All Zones)
• Colleton County Evacuation Zones A, B
• Beaufort County Evacuation Zone A
• Jasper County Evacuation Zones A, B
The following roads will be reversed:
Interstate 26 from Charleston to Columbia - Beginning at 12 p.m. Tuesday. A full four-lane reversal on I-26 in Charleston will begin at the interchange of I-26 and I-526. The full reversal continues west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County.
Highway 501 in Myrtle Beach - Beginning at 12 p.m. Tuesday. Horry County has two four-lane reversals along US 501: SC 544 to US 378; and US 501: Between SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to SC 576 near Marion County.
Highway 278 and Highway 21 in Beaufort County - Ready to begin reversing at that time. Will give the order Tuesday, if needed.
These school systems will be closed starting Tuesday:
State Government Offices Closed:
All state offices in the same counties where schools are closed will also have state offices closed.
Full Closings List:
To see all of the closes that News19 has received, go to the WLTX closings page.
SC Emergency Hotline:
That's for anyone with questions related to Hurricane Florence.
Federal Disaster Emergency Declaration Request
McMaster said he's already submitted a request to President Donald Trump to issue a federal emergency declaration, which would allow in advance for federal money to be released to cover the state's expenses for manpower and cleanup. Kim Stenson, the director of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, says a FEMA coordinating officer will be in the state Monday to help as needed.
On Saturday, McMaster issued an executive order declaring a "state of emergency" in South Carolina.
Stay Informed/Stay Connected
The best thing to do is make sure you're staying informed. You may want to review your hurricane plan, and check up on any of your supplies that you might need, such as batteries and flashlights. Keep up to date by reading the forecast articles here on our website or app, and we'll of course have regular updates in all of our newscasts.
You can also review the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's checklist for preparation. Again, no need to panic and run out and buy things at the grocery store. But it's just good to go ahead and look at it. There are a ton of good resources there.