The Bluffton Township Fire District headquarters is evacuating to the University of South Carolina Beaufort, the final Bluffton station to leave as Hurricane Matthew arrives.
The decision came after a station-wide meeting at 4:45 p.m. on Friday when fire officials were told that wind speeds reached 45 mph within Beaufort County, making it too dangerous for them to respond until the hurricane passes.
The fire district’s seven other stations have evacuated to the USCB.
Crews will return to respond to calls when the storm passes.
All of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue has also evacuated off the island to the University of South Carolina Beaufort campus. Its dispatch has been transferred to Beaufort County’s dispatch center, according to spokesperson Joheida Fister.
The Bluffton district’s Moss Creek and Spring Island stations evacuated due to potential flooding concerns, and firefighters took all of their equipment with them on Friday morning. The Colleton River and Palmetto Bluff stations evacuated on Thursday.