SCE&G officials said they are working to restore power outages resulting from the impact of Tropical Storm Irma, which made landfall along the SC coast early this morning.
The surge in Charleston came from the Atlantic Ocean, and forecasters predicted that the water would push about a mile inland.
Irma hit Florida after powering through the Caribbean as a rare Category 5 hurricane, the top rung of the Saffir-Simpson scale.
People on a SC barrier island under mandatory evacuation have one more day to take the ferry out before Hurricane Irma potentially floods it. Though downgraded to a tropical storm, its winds reached up to 415 miles (668 kilometers) from the center.
Player said Andrew Jackson High School and Lancaster High School have been selected as standby evacuation shelters should they be needed.
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A flash flood emergency was also issued for Charleston County in SC, which includes the city of Charleston, as the storm surge caused extensive flooding there.
As Hurricane Irma arrives, the collision of different pressure systems could spread high winds over a wider area, Panovich says.
McMaster said no shelters are open now, but 200 Red Cross facilities are on standby. "We've already surpassed historic levels, the levels will continue to rise".
"We're asking folks to be patient and remain sheltered in place", said St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles.
Gov. Ray Cooper declared a statewide emergency Wednesday afternoon.
Still, he said, it will take days for many people to be restored and, in some cases where the damage was extensive, weeks.
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Dave Baer confirmed that there are parts of the island, like Barfield Drive, with 1 to 2 feet of standing water. Additional slow weakening is expected, and Irma is expected to be a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.
That decision would be made with local law enforcement and emergency management agencies, McMaster said.
Andrew Sussman, the state's hurricane program manager, said Friday the total includes people throughout the southern half of the state as well as those living in inland Florida in substandard housing who were also told leave due to the unsafe storm that will slam the state this weekend.
Atlanta; Columbia, South Carolina; and Knoxville, Tennessee, could endure wind gusts to tropical storm strength in addition to the rainfall.
Irma weakened to a tropical storm as it advanced towards Georgia, moving with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, the US National Hurricane Centre said.
The remnants of the deadly hurricane are now projected to sweep into Alabama and Georgia by Monday morning, bringing strong winds and rain. By noon, wind and rain had downed trees and powerlines in Summerville and West Ashley. A phone call will go out to parents and guardians if schools close.
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