North Carolina governor declares State of Emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma

North Carolina governor declares State of Emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma

By far, the largest was vacation paradise Hilton Head Island, with 40,000 people, golf courses and resorts.

The governor said there is the risk of flash flooding, especially in the central and southern parts of the state.

Mayor John Tecklenburg said there were no serious injuries and the city would be back to normal Wednesday.

Hurricane Irma may bring widespread and significant rainfall to the Lowcountry, the Charleston area and other parts of SC on Sunday into Monday night.

"This is a serious storm", he said. Even if Irma maintains its current course, significant storm surge to South Carolina's low-lying coastal areas is expected due to persistent winds and high tide levels. Associated Press reporters Kim Chandler in Montgomery, Alabama, John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, Seanna Adcox in Columbia, South Carolina, and Kate Brumback and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this story.

"Those are the ones we have settled or on their way", said Hoyt, who lives in the city's eastern suburb of Decatur.

So where should evacuating residents go?

Forecasters say the ocean may rise a little more, but they don't expect a surge anywhere near the 12.5 feet (3.8 meters) recorded when Hurricane Hugo came ashore just north of Charleston in 1989.

No injuries were reported in McMaster's two-story building near the University of SC campus, but about eight residents, mostly college students, had to find places to stay, authorities said.

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"As they say, you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink", he said. He planned an evening news conference.

Savannah fine art photographer Dan Kaufman stops in the middle of almost deserted downtown Savannah, Ga., Sunday, Sept., 10, 2017 to take a photo of City Hall before winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Irma are forecast to impact the area.

On Tybee Island east of Savannah, Ernie Laessig wasn't taking any chances with Irma.

Tuesday will bring a return to some normalcy from the region's third-straight severe fall weather event after the historic flood of 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. "So I'm sticking with my final decision and we're out of here". All of Georgia Power's resources are being held and dedicated to storm restoration efforts in the state following Hurricane Irma.

That order is aimed at preventing a repeat of October 2015, when bursting and overflowing dams amid historic 24-inch rains worsened deadly flooding.

Hurricane Irma has made landfall in Florida as a category 4 storm.

More than 1.2 million Georgia Power and EMC customers mostly in coastal and south Georgia were without power.

According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest rains and higher chances of tornadoes will come from the eastern side of the storm as it passes to the west of SC. County spokeswoman Paige Dukes said Friday local officials are now concerned they could see a "direct hit" from Irma.

Irma was at one point the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, with winds up to 185 miles per hour (298 kph).

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