Gov. rescinds hospital evacuation for some counties, delays announcement on residents

Gov. Henry McMaster, at a Friday afternoon news conference, rescinded an order for the evacuation of Charleston, Georgetown Dorchester, Berkeley, and Horry county healthcare facilities, that includes hospitals, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes.

McMaster had ordered the evacuation Thursday, but he eliminated those counties from the order because of a change, westward, in the expected track of Hurricane Irma.

The evacuation order for hospitals and health care facilities remains in effect for Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties.

McMaster also said he would wait until after a 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center before announcing any more evacuation orders for coastal county residents. That announcement is expected to come around 6 p.m. Word on possible interstate lane reversals could come at that time, too.

The toll fee has been eliminated for a Hilton Head bridge by the SCDOT, McMaster said.

Also: state government offices in the following counties: Berkeley, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester and Jasper are closed Friday.

McMaster said more than 90,000 more cars have been counted on the state’s interstates on Thursday (27,000 more) and Friday (65,000 more) than a normal day. The increased traffic is mostly coming from Florida and Georgia hurricane evacuees.