Gov. Haley: Road closures and power outages cripple parts of SC after Matthew


COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – In coordination with local officials, Governor Nikki Haley on Sunday announced that evacuation orders have been lifted for all residents in Beaufort and Jasper counties as of 6:30 PM.

Evacuation orders for Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley and Colleton counities have previously been lifted and were effective as of 10:00 AM.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said one fatality occurred during Hurricane Matthew as the person was swept away in a vehicle crossing water on a Florence County road. Since the 10 a.m. press conference, AP has reported three people have died as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

In the Sunday morning address. the governor said they were seeing lots of trees and power lines down but less structural damage than expected.

RELATED: List of areas without power and when it could be restored

The latest numbers show over 746,000 electric customers have lost service across the state. The winter storm in 2014 previously held the record for most power outages in SC with 350,000 customers experiencing outages.

Haley said river levels along the Little Pee Dee River and Waccamaw River could reach levels in the coming week that surpasses last year’s historic floods in those areas.

Officials Saturday said that wind gusts up to 88 mph were recorded in South Carolina.

The governor admonished people to stay indoors and off the roads and also warned people not to walk or play in the storm water. Haley says the storm water could contain harmful chemicals or have high concentrations of bacteria.

Residents utilizing generators were also warned not to put generators in enclosed areas like garages where carbon monoxide poisoning could become an issue.

The next issue the state will be dealing with is the flooding, especially river flooding coming from the Waccamaw, the Pee Dee, the Black and the Lynches rivers.

Haley expects to begin the process of rescinding the evacuation orders for certain regions Sunday.

Haley met with reporters late Saturday morning to urge the state’s residents to continue to be careful as the storm moves northeast along the coast.

She said those who have evacuated should not expect to go home either Saturday or Sunday while crews check to make sure areas are safe.

The governor also said part of Interstate 95 was blocked in southern South Carolina. The state transportation department said the southbound lanes are blocked from near state Highway 462 and the South Carolina-Georgia state line. A number of trees were down in the area.

Haley also warned the public about a cyber security situation going on across the state where people are receiving emails asking them to “click here” for a power outage update.  She asked residents to not open the email because it could take over your computer.