Thousands of Americans Head Inland to Escape Hurricane Matthew
October 5, 2016
Florida Governor: Everyone Must Prepare For A Direct Hit By Hurricane Matthew
Thousands of Americans were headed for higher ground Wednesday as deadly Hurricane Matthew crawled across the Caribbean and toward the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
The storm is likely to bring high winds, heavy rain and storm surges to Florida on Thursday, before crawling its way up the coast toward Georgia and the Carolinas by Friday or Saturday.
In South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley ordered the evacuations of historic-but-low-lying Charleston and Beaufort starting at 3 p.m. But in an attempt to keep the highways from being clogged, she urged Georgetown and Horry County residents to sit tight until Thursday.
"What we're trying to do is actually because the storm changed, we are changing with the storm," Haley said. "Beaufort and Charleston definitely need to go ahead and plan on evacuating at 3, but we saw that because the storm had slowed down, we can move that evacuation for Georgetown and Horry to tomorrow morning."
- Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on the Bahamas after strafing the Cuban coast and hammering Haiti
- Evacuations ordered in South Carolina while Florida residents told to prepare to leave
- Matthew expected to be near the Florida coast by Friday
But even before Haley spoke, west-bound traffic on Interstate 26 was already packed with South Carolinians headed away from the coast.
And in Columbia, the state capital, hotel rooms were already scarce, NBC station WIS reported.
"The phones have been ringing off the hooks," said Jana Medlin, director of sales at the Inn at USC Wyndham Garden near the University of South Carolina campus.
- Blue Monster Prep