Hurricane

As Hurricane Florence menaces SC, some here beg: ‘Please evacuate Beaufort.’

County residents are questioning why Gov. Henry McMaster has not issued a mandatory evacuation for Beaufort County. The concern lies mostly with those who want to evacuate, but cannot because they work in the county.
County residents are questioning why Gov. Henry McMaster has not issued a mandatory evacuation for Beaufort County. The concern lies mostly with those who want to evacuate, but cannot because they work in the county. Facebook

As Hurricane Florence heads toward the coast line of the Carolinas, some Beaufort County residents are reaching out on Facebook to ask why South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster hasn’t issued a new mandatory evacuation order.

The governor ordered a mandatory evacuation Monday, but rescinded the order Tuesday.

The governor held a press conference Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. In the live video of the conference, many county residents posted their frustration over the lack of that order, saving its absence it puts them in a tricky situation in deciding whether to go to work during the storm.

“Still no mandatory evacuation for Beaufort County, putting both employers and employees in interesting spots after issuing and rescinding the mandatory evacuation order in Beaufort County,” one person commented on the video.

Others brought up concerns for military families who cannot evacuate as a family unless a mandatory evacuation is ordered.

“Please explain why Beaufort is not under a mandatory evacuation?” another wrote. “Do you realize some people cannot leave unless ordered to? That’s families, children. You are putting our lives at risk, Governor.”

The evacuation order can only come from McMaster. However, county officials are encouraging anyone who doesn’t feel safe to evacuate ahead of the storm.

“The governor said this from day one, if you are not in a mandatory evacuation zone and you feel you are in a flooding area, you need to make those preparations that those who evacuate are making,” Brian Symmes, communications director for the governor’s office said Thursday.

When asked what people who want to evacuate should do if they are worried about their jobs, Symmes said the governor believes that if anyone fears for their safety, they should leave.

The local effects of the storm — possible heavy rain and wind — are expected to reach the county late Friday or early Saturday.

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