SC now on alert for Irma

Irma evacuees find full hotels but a warm welcome in Georgia

Thursday night, the projected path of the storm became more clear putting SC on the edge of the cone of uncertainty.

As of 2 p.m. Saturday advisory, Irma is a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles an hour.

The governor of the southern USA state of Georgia on Thursday ordered the mandatory evacuation of the city of Savannah and other coastal areas ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Federal forecasters have shifted the center of Irma well west of SC. Tornadoes and heavy rainfall are expected, with the portion of the storm that will make its way over SC.

State forecasters, however, remained uncertain of the storm's path so many days out and cautioned that SC residents should remain vigilant.

If citizens remain beyond the mandatory evacuation date, emergency first responders will not be able to assist them during the expected period of tropical storm forced winds throughout Monday, Jones said. "If you don't have gas in your vehicle better get some".


In the case that seems most likely now, Irma could turn more quickly north and take a path farther to the east, skirting Florida's Atlantic coast, perhaps making landfall in the Carolinas and then following a path much like Hurricane Hugo's in 1989 or Hurricane Matthew's last October. Irma will pass to the west of Jacksonville and move away from the region Monday night.

With the new forecast, Pinellas County, home to St. Petersburg, ordered 260,000 people to leave.

On Friday the Hurricane Irma continued to roll towards South Florida that has long feared by everyone.

"I don't know if it's going to do a lot of damage, but I'm not going to wait around to see", Johnson said. "They are getting prepared for this storm as soon as they can". If the Emergency Operations Center is activated (closer to the storm approaching) DES says they will determine the actual location of shelters if they are deemed necessary.

"There are a lot of people who were hit by Hurricane Matthew a year ago", James explained. Coastal Georgia is under a hurricane watch.

Although the latest Hurricane Irma forecasts are increasingly favorable for SC, the National Weather Service still expects Irma to cause high winds, heavy rains and localized flooding due to a possible storm surge of four to six feet.

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