South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley did not lift the evacuations for Horry, Georgetown and Jasper counties, she said when she addressed the media on Sunday morning. She urged patience as the state begins its slow recovery from the impact of Hurricane Matthew.
“We need patience,” Haley said, adding a follow-up news conference will be held Monday. “Patience related to traffic, patience related to power, patience related to water, patience related to each other. Patience in the fact storm didn’t happen overnight, it was a process. This is a process for re-entry. It’s going to take time. State, county officials doing everything they can, but it’s not going to be a short process.”
Haley said work is being done on a number of fronts, including:
▪ Recovery and search and rescue
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▪ Restoring power and clearing roads
▪ Re-entry into areas where evacuations have been lifted
“The weather looks good next week, that’s a great sign,” said Haley.”
The evacuations in Berkeley, Colleton, Charleston and Dorchester counties have all been lifted effective immediately. Jasper, Georgetown and Horry counties are just beginning assessments, and evacuations may be lifted tomorrow.
“The way we lift evacuations, meant to be teamwork. Law enforcement goes in, work with local governments. to decide when to let people go back in,” said Haley, adding the issues most concerned with I-26, US-176, US-52 and US-178. “Lot of congestion. Patience, patience, patience.”
Haley said there was one weather-related fatality yesterday, in vehicle, in Florence area, in vehicle swept away trying to pass water covered roads. Also, there were five high-water rescues, one emergency transport.
“Do not drive through barricades. Keep emergency lanes clear,” Haley said, adding law enforcement has responded to 2,957 calls since Oct. 5. “Fatalities usually post storm, get on road too fast or go home too fast.”
Haley said there have bee no new dam failures, but two rivers going into major flooding. The Waccamaw and Little PeeDee rivers are above flood levels from last year.
All interstates open in South Carolina, including I-95. Motorists will see a lot of debris on shoulders (of roads) so they’re warned to drive carefully.
“Fuel up, have water and necessities you need to move forward,” Haley said.
The governor also warned about placing generators in garages, which has high risk of causing carbon monoxide poisoning. She also added that 76 shelters are open with 1,432 residents in them and 720 staff members working. Haley reported that there are currently 746,037 power outages. That’s down from 861,000 on Saturday.
“Utility linemen working as hard and as fast as they can.”