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Governor McMaster Irma Update: 09/11/2017 2 p.m.
Governor Henry McMaster held a press conference at 2 p.m. today, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, from South Carolina's Emergency Management Division.
"We are very proud of the way citizens have responded to our urgings and warnings, and information. This has been a plan that has gone according to the way it was devised." Governor McMaster said.
Though Irma moved to the west out of direct damage to South Carolina, the governor advised, "It's still a dangerous storm. There's still a lot of danger out there."
The storm is still sustaining wind speeds of 60 miles per hour (mph), and as of 2 p.m. today was south of Albalny, Ga. Tropical storm force winds are now extending over 415 miles northeast from the center. Irma's impacts have been most seen in storm surge inundation along South Carolina's central and southern coast. At the tide gauge at Charleston Harbor, storm surges have surpassed Hurricane Matthew levels, and is at its third highest record and still rising. Storm surges are about 4 feet in the Charleston area.
Rains across the state continue. There is a flash flood emergency for the Charleston area. some flooding has been reported- a result of extremely high tides and heavy rain. There has been widespread flooding in downtown Charleston from Calhoun Street to The Battery. It is not advised to travel into the downtown area. Flooding is still possible in other areas, and citizens are reminded, "turn around, don't drown." Should you encounter flooded roadways or stagnant water, find another route, as road damage and erosion may have occured. Citizens are also reminded not to try to cross any barricades in place.
The highest wind gust was reported in Folly Beach, at 72 mph. On Sullivan's Island, 68 mph, and 66 mph at Beaufort. Winds will continue into the evening, diminishing over night into Tuesday. There is a Tornado Watch in effect until 10 p.m. for southeast South Carolina. There have been numerous Tornado Warnings, many in Charleston county. The possibility for tornadoes continues into the evening. Should a tornado warning occur in your home, move to an interior room with no windows on the lowest level of your home.
There are currently 2,081 South Carolina Department of Transportation workers on the roads. There are 83 road closures in seven counties.
The National Guard has 746 guardsmen on duty, with 101 state guardsmen on duty, and with 100 additional troopers assisting law enforcement. Some troops will be leaving tomorrow to aid Florida residents. There will be military units on roadways, and citizens are reminded to be patient and respectful of these vehicles as they move where they are needed.
There are 369 S.L.E.D., Department of Pardon and Parole officers, and Department of Natural Resources agents on duty, .
There were 25 shelters open at the time of the press conference. There were 885 evacuees in shelters at that time. Georgia and Florida evacuees are also welcome at these shelters.
As of this conference there were 146,784 meter power outages, with Charleston seeing the most outages. Crews will be out when it is safe to work to restore power. Should your power go out, never use a generator in closed spaces like home and garages, and do not use outdoor grills indoors. If possible use battery powered lights, but if using candles, never leave candles unattended.
There has only been one emergency rescue at this time, and there are no reported fatalities.
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