Standstill traffic for 30 miles on I-95 near Georgia-SC border as Florence evacuees flee

Read Thursday morning’s traffic update here.

Hurricane Florence evacuees were met with standstill traffic on Interstate 95 late Wednesday afternoon extending more than 30 miles north of the South Carolina-Georgia border, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s 511 traffic map.

Drivers using the Waze App around 5:30 p.m. reported slow-moving and standstill conditions, along with several stopped cars on the route, particularly around the Hardeeville-Ridgeland area and near Exit 8, which leads to Hilton Head Island.

The SCDOT map shows congestion starting one mile north of the Georgia border and continuing to the Mile 34 marker in South Carolina.

More than a million coastal residents of South Carolina were ordered by Gov. Henry McMaster to evacuate starting at noon Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Florence.

The 5 p.m. National Weather Service forecast has the massive storm reaching the South Carolina-North Carolina coast starting early Friday. Some models show the storm moving southward along the coast, bringing with it hurricane or tropical storm-like conditions to the Beaufort County area.

On Tuesday, less than 20 hours after McMaster issued an evacuation order for Beaufort County, the governor rescinded the order for Beaufort, Jasper and Colleton counties, not including Edisto Beach.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner said the county is in “standby mode” and urged residents to leave the area sooner rather than later.

Though the county is not under a hurricane watch, Tanner said storm predictions were concerning local officials.

“If we need to re-examine the evacuation, that will be something that we will be looking at between now and tomorrow morning,” he said. “It could happen.”