South Carolina governor lifts evacuation orders

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says residents of seven islands and a beach evacuated because of Hurricane Irma can return home.

McMaster said on Twitter he ended the evacuation order at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday. The order covered barrier islands in Beaufort and Jasper counties and Edisto Beach in Colleton County.

By far the biggest place evacuated was Hilton Head Island, with 42,000 people. The populations of the other islands ranged from several hundred to a few dozen.

Irma brought several feet of storm surge over the islands Monday, even though the center passed some 200 miles to the southwest.

Tropical Storm Irma no longer exists but she left plenty of problems in South Carolina.

More than 220,000 customers were without electricity early Tuesday. Duke Energy reported the biggest problems with 100,000 customers without service. The biggest problems were in Anderson and Greenville counties.

The South Carolina Electric Cooperatives report that about 63,000 customers are without service. The biggest problems are in Oconee and Charleston counties.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. had 58,000 customers without service early Tuesday. The major problems were in Charleston and Beaufort counties.

Many schools in South Carolina were closed or were opening on a delayed schedule Tuesday.

At least one person died. Fifty-seven-year-old Charles Saxon was killed Monday afternoon by a tree limb while clearing debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls.