Beaufort County residents who choose to stay during the mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Florence will be able to move freely for the time being, according to officials.
Unlike during the last major storm that hit the area, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is currently not planning to institute a curfew, spokesperson Bob Bromage said Tuesday morning.
Last year when the county’s barrier islands were placed under a mandatory evacuation during Tropical Storm Irma, Sheriff P.J. Tanner instituted a curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. for residents on the islands.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered an evacuation of the state’s entire coast starting at noon Tuesday ahead of Category 4 storm.
During his press conference on Monday, McMaster said U.S. 278 and U.S. 21 would be “ready for reversal” at noon Tuesday, but a final decision on whether to reverse flow on the two highways would come later from local authorities.
As of Tuesday morning, no roadblocks or lane reversals have been scheduled for U.S. 278 or U.S. 21 in Beaufort County, including the Hilton Head Island bridges, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
Bromage said the lane reversals will only be implemented “if the evacuation routes become so congested that we have to use them to get people out of here.”
As of Tuesday at 9 a.m., Beaufort County was not under any storm watches and traffic along the evacuation routes was light.