Residents of those eight islands - home to more than 44,400 - evacuated smoothly on Saturday, the governor said at a 2 p.m. press conference.
"With Governor Henry McMaster leading the way, SC has taken another step forward in the process of defunding the abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood", the group's release noted. Storm surge across the lower portion of South Carolina's coast remains a major concern, as the National Hurricane Center predicts as much as 4-6 feet of inundation above dry ground.
Governor Henry McMaster and state emergency response officials held a briefing Saturday Afternoon to give an update on how the state is preparing for the impact that Hurricane Irma will bring.
"We're not declaring this disaster over".
According to a poll taken in the aftermath of McMaster's announcement, 78 percent of our readers said they believed the governor was "playing politics" on the abortion issue compared to just 17 percent who said he was genuinely "standing for the unborn".
McMaster said he is awaiting the next update from the National Hurricane Center.
The state is prepared to open 200 shelters and transport 10,000 people by bus if needed, he said.
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"The storm surge is not something to be taken lightly", McMaster said.
"If you can leave now, go ahead", he said. The order still applied to three counties.
Traffic on South Carolina's highways is already heavier than normal with residents fleeing Irma's projected path.
That order is aimed at preventing a repeat of October 2015, when bursting and overflowing dams amid historic 24-inch rains worsened deadly flooding. The shelters are now only for South Carolinians, but they are preparing to receive residents from Florida and Georgia should they be needed. Bluffton High School and Battery Creek High School in Beaufort County.
"It's always a question of safety to people", McMaster said of making a decision to evacuate.
In its current track, the eye of Irma is set to make landfall over the southern portion of Florida on Sunday night and make its way north, nearing south Georgia by Monday.
County offices along with city of Georgetown offices will be closed Monday except for essential personnel.