South Carolina Plans Mass Hurricane Evacuation
It will impact 1 million people
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 4, 2016 3:40 PM CDT
Waves crash against a seawall in Baracoa, Cuba, Tuesday before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. South Carolina is planning mass evacuation of 1 million people before the hurricane's arrival Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

(Newser) – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she plans to issue an evacuation order Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Matthew so that 1 million people can safely and comfortably leave the coast, the AP reports. Haley said at a Tuesday news conference that she will finalize the order Wednesday morning, unless there is a major shift in the storm's track. Haley says she expects the evacuation to begin at 3pm Wednesday. State officials say lanes on major evacuation routes will be reversed. It would be the first major evacuation since Hurricane Floyd in 1999, when the governor at the time didn't reverse the lanes and Interstate 26 became backed up for hours and traffic was at a standstill. A two-hour drive from Charleston to Columbia turned into 24-hour nightmare.

Meanwhile, President Obama will speak Wednesday at FEMA about the federal response to Hurricane Matthew. Obama had been scheduled to travel to Florida on Wednesday for campaign events and a health care event. But the White House says the trip is being postponed because of the hurricane. Instead, Obama will travel to the agency's Washington headquarters to meet with officials coordinating the response. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate will brief Obama on the latest developments if scheduling allows. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama will be updated on the weather forecast and on operational aspects of preparing for the impacts of the severe weather.
 

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