Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered an evacuation of many coastal communities and cancelled school in over half of the state in advance of Hurricane Matthew.
An estimated 1.1 million could have to leave their homes, Haley said.
"With winds this high and surge this high, this is not something we want to play with," Haley said. "I don't want to sit there and talk about fatalities. Our goal is to save anybody we can."
Haley said the medical evacuations began Tuesday, and general evacuations are set to start at 3 p.m Wednesday Schools and government offices in the Lowcountry are also closed.
Lane reversals will also begin at that time. (You can see a list of evacuation zones at the bottom of this article) The zones affected are as follows:
Beaufort: Zone A, Entire county
Jasper: A and B
Colleton: A Only
Dorchester: B,D,E, and F
Berkeley: A,B,C,G, and I
Horry: A only
Georgetown: A only
Haley has also declared a state of emergency, a move that allows her to call up the national guard.
"If you can leave early do that, the goal is to not leave all at once," Haley said. "It's not going to be a fast evacuation but we ask that you be patient and understand that it will take up to several hours."
The governor said the goal is to have everyone within 100 miles of the coast gone. She said storm surges of 5 to 7 feet are possible, and winds of 100 miles an hour are expected.
"As of right now we're looking for Friday night into Saturday being pretty brutal," Haley said.
Many Midlands school districts will also be closed starting Wednesday. Here is the full list of schools that will be closed statewide: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg. Those districts will be closed for the remainder of the week.
County offices in those areas will also be closed.
Haley said Midlands school districts and county officers are closing so early, even though their not part of the evacuation zone, because of all the traffic that's expected to come up from the southern part of the state.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to reach the South Carolina coast Friday. Winds of 100 miles an hour are possible along the South Carolina coast.
You can always get the latest conditions by downloading WLTX's apps or signing up for our text alerts.
Weather App Phone: on.wltx.com/WLTX_Weather_iPhone
Weather App Android: on.wltx.com/WLTX_Weather_Android
iPhone app: on.wltx.com/1NTHH98
Android app: on.wltx.com/1NTHvXq
Sign Up for WLTX Text Alerts: Text Alert Signup Page
Below is the evacuation zone maps for South Carolina: (Having trouble seeing this? Click here)