UPDATE: Gov. Haley talks Hurricane Matthew, evacuations, traffic

Published: Oct. 5, 2016 at 8:39 AM EDT
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Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 |

UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Gov. Nikki Haley has said traffic time is down 20 percent since the lane reversals and the average travel time from Charleston to Columbia is averaging 1 hour 38 minutes.

"We are not seeing any price gouging on the hotel side," Gov. Haley said during her news conference Wednesday night. Gov. Haley said hotels in South Carolina are pretty much full.

If you're getting on a reverse lane, Gov. Haley said to know you're coming to Columbia. There is no way to get off once you're on the reverse lane. Haley encouraged drivers to fuel up before getting on the reverse lane.

Gov. @nikkihaley said the evacuation is complex but transportation made it look smooth but easy.

Resources used in the lane reversal included the SC National Guard, EMS, fire crews, air crafts to monitor traffic, troopers, state law enforcement.

Gov. Haley urged drivers not to cross over barricades that are set up for lane reversals. She said to plan routes before you evacuate. She suggested drivers use the SCDOT web cam and if you don't have internet, call 1 (866) 246-0133.

Horry and Georgetown evacuations planned for noon Thursday.

"We're watching this very closely, every 3 hours, making decisions," Gov. Haley said.

Local law enforcement and communities will make the decision to close affected areas as storm passes.

Roughly 250 thousand or a half a million people have evacuated from Charleston and Beaufort, according to officials.

Gov. Haley and state leaders will reevaluate how many buses are needed from Greenville for the rest of the week because they weren't utilized as expected Wednesday.

"We've been through a roller coaster of emotions today watching Hurricane Matthew's track," Gov. Haley said.

Gov. Haley said she spoke with White House Wednesday to discuss what federal assets were needed.

Governor Nikki Haley will hold a press conference Thursday, Oct. 6, at 9:30 a.m. at the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center. The governor will update the public on Hurricane Matthew’s potential impact to the state.

UPDATE: 1:30 p.m.

Governor Nikki Haley will hold a press conference at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center.

The governor will update the public on Hurricane Matthew’s potential impact to the state as well as share traffic progress.

9:30 a.m.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has said Georgetown and Horry County will evacuate Thursday morning ahead of Hurricane Matthew.

In her news conference Wednesday morning, she said the greater Charleston County and Greater Beaufort County area will evacuate at 3 p.m. and lane reversals will occur on Interstate 26 from Charleston to Columbia.

Gov. Haley said there are about 315 buses ready to pick up Charleston residents and take them to Greenville. Hotels in the midlands are booked and Gov. Haley suggested looking at Airbnb or Expedia.

There will be another conference this afternoon regarding traffic and changes in the storms path going forward. Gov. Haley said her office will be monitoring any price gouging.

Gov. Haley recommends evacuation 'in phases'. The storm has slowed down, which is why the plan is to evacuate Georgetown and Horry Counties later than previously intended.

Gov. Haley said the state is focused on clearing out the midlands so everyone can get through to their evacuation stop. Coastal residents and medical patients began evacuating on Tuesday.

Gov. Haley said that the state has shelters ready, and ready to be staffed at a moments notice. Troopers and National Guard members have already been positioned.

Gov. Haley thanked the people of South Carolina and asked all residents to be safe, to check on neighbors and family, and to heed evacuation warnings.

You can find out more information on evacuation routes and shelter information at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division website at www.scemd.org.