Hurricane Matthew preparations in Columbia
Nikki Haley spoke to the public for the last time Friday morning before Hurricane Matthew clashes with the South Carolina coast later in the day.
“This is the last time you’ll hear my voice,” the governor said in calling for any who still has not evacuated from the coast to take this last chance to get out now. “This is the last time you’ll see me.”
Three days after Haley called for residents to evacuate, she told reporters in a press conference that 310,000 residents out of an expect 500,000 have left the coast to seek shelter elsewhere in the state and beyond.
On Thursday, Haley said “not enough” people had evacuated from the coast. Only 175,000 of an expected 250,000 had left their homes as of Thursday morning.
“Daniel Island is not moving. We need you to consider coming up north,” Haley said, adding the Daufuskie Island “willl be under water” from the storm surge.
The S.C. Department of Transportation began the process of reversing the lanes of Interstate 26 on Friday morning, after closing the eastbound lanes on Tuesday to speed up coastal evacuations.
Haley said 104 medical facilities have been evacuated from coastal areas. Hurricane Matthew could make landfall in South Carolina sometime overnight and cause a storm surge of more than eight feet extending miles inland, according to state officials monitoring the storm.
The Charleston and Georgetown areas are expected to receive 13 inches of rain or more from the storm, according to the National Weather Service. Long-lasting power outages are also expected.
“If the reason you're not leaving is because of a pet, we have plenty of space,” she said.
Watch live web cams of the coast here.