Beaufort County roads that normally would be bumper-to-bumper with morning commuters were eerily free of traffic on Thursday around 8:30 a.m.
Schools in Beaufort County were closed this week because of the anticipated wind, rain and flooding from Hurricane Florence.
Traffic cameras showed very few vehicles on U.S. 278 in Bluffton or Hilton Head, including over the bridges onto or off the island.
The cameras also showed only a fraction of the normal number of vehicles on highways in Okatie, Beaufort and Lady’s Island.
Hurricane Florence evacuees found themselves stuck in standstill traffic for more than 30 miles Wednesday afternoon on I-95, particularly between Exit 8, which leads to Hilton Head Island, and the Georgia border.
The interstate was clear on Thursday morning, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s 511 system.
Beaufort County was not under an evacuation order at that time.
Hurricane Florence was approaching the Carolinas coast as a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph at of the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. update.
In a news conference on Wednesday morning, Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner urged residents to leave the area sooner rather than later.
Jasper County Sheriff Chris Malphrus also urged residents to evacuate in a separate news conference on Wednesday.