McMaster reports successful evacuation, warns of Irma storm surge

BREAKING: Gov Deal expands state of emergency, issues mandatory evacuation order

BREAKING: Gov Deal expands state of emergency, issues mandatory evacuation order

McMaster said he plans to decide about 6 pm about evacuations.

The assistance includes law enforcement, national guard, state fire rescue teams and other agencies as needed.

South Carolina's emergency helpline is now active around the clock.

With threat to SC waning, McMaster announced an agreement with Florida Gov. Rick Scott to send first responders to the Sunshine State, which sits firmly in the powerful storm's crosshairs. "This is an important step in the fight to defend all life in SC".

The Columbia area is unlikely to experience hurricane-force winds but could see tornadoes Monday, forecasters said around midday Saturday. Five percent of respondents said they were unsure.

Exactly where the storm will go will depend on how Irma moves through Florida. But it remains a risky storm, officials say, with hurricane-force winds 70 miles from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extending 185 miles, according to the Hurricane Center.

The European court obliged Slovakia and Hungary to accept refugees
As Deutsche Welle reports , "Only 24,000. refugees from Greece and Italy have been transferred to other states". Slovakia said that it accepted the top court decision but it was still against the refugee scheme.

Any order would correspond to lane reversals on several major highways, including Interstate 26 between Charleston and Columbia, meaning they would allow only out-bound traffic.

McMaster took the opportunity to remind residents that even when the storm has passed, the challenges it brings will not be over.

"You never know where a hurricane is going to go", he said. That executive order signed Thursday afternoon required hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers and other in-patient facilities in eight counties to immediately begin moving patients inland. Heavy rains could lead to flash flooding or river flooding throughout next week. But Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the path is too uncertain for people to relax.

In its current track, the eye of Irma is set to make landfall over the southern portion of Florida on Sunday night and make its way north, nearing south Georgia by Monday. Emergency shelter locations will be announced as soon as they are open. Bluffton High School and Battery Creek High School in Beaufort County.

Three shelters have opened: Colleton Middle School in Colleton County, Ridgeland High School in Jasper County, and Dent Middle School in Richland County.

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