Gov. Sanford issues voluntary evacuation for parts of coast

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTV) - South Carolina Mark Sanford says state officials are on standby tonight.

A hurricane warning has been issued for the Northern Coast.

On Thursday, Sanford issued a voluntary evacuation for Georgetown and Horry counties, but the governor stresses it is not mandatory.

"The suggestion is really for people to look at this storm and make their own decisions," Sanford said.

Charleston County is safe for now but still ready.  People continued boarding up homes today and stocking up on supplies.

Power crews are checking trees and power lines getting ready just in case Hanna heads their way.

Governor South Carolina Mark Sanford says the state is prepared.


(The following is a press release from the Governor Mark Sanford's office.)

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Governor Mark Sanford today issued a voluntary evacuation as of noon for Horry and Georgetown counties as Tropical Storm Hanna continued its approach toward the east coast. Both counties - primarily northern Horry County - are forecast to experience four-plus inches of rain and high winds when the storm makes landfall.

The governor urged people in Horry and Georgetown to consider voluntarily evacuating if they are in mobile homes or campers, on property in low-lying areas or on property in wind prone areas. Gov. Sanford's suggestion of a voluntary evacuation would also include any areas within Horry and Georgetown counties later specified by local officials.

"Based on all the information we've received at this point, we think we're going to miss this storm, but it's still incredibly important that we be prepared, and for people in areas that could be the most affected to be prudent," Gov. Sanford said. "More than anything, this storm may serve as a reminder to everyone along the coast to be prepared for what could still come your way in this season. That means having a full tank of gas, a storm kit and an evacuation plan as these storms head our way."

Highway Patrol officers have been deployed to key traffic points to monitor traffic. The American Red Cross is opening voluntary shelters and will release shelter information as it becomes available.

For more information about the state's emergency response, contact Derrec Becker or Joe Farmer in the S.C. Emergency Management Division at (803) 737-8500.