Gov. McMaster issues mandatory evacuation for parts of Lowcountry counties

Source Live 5

But western parts of the state are still in Monday's forecast cone as Irma diminishes from a hurricane to a tropical depression.

Georgia's governor on Thursday ordered almost 540,000 coastal residents to evacuate inland ahead of Hurricane Irma as authorities warned the storm had the potential to strike as a major hurricane, something the Georgia coast hasn't seen in more than a century.

A change in Hurricane Irma's path means more preparation for metro Atlanta as the region is expected to be impacted. They are on their way to help partners in Florida and Georgia.

"I was here for Hugo, too, doing this same exact thing", Hayes said she hears from residents, referring to the Category 4 storm that made landfall near Charleston in 1989. Many left before Saturday, while others have chose to stay. "We have called other contractors to say hey we may need you", Shipman said.

Florida is the nation's third-largest state with almost 21million people according to the U.S. Census.

Deal's order also authorizes up to 5,500 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery, the release states. "The only exception is I-20, coming in from Augusta", where Georgia motorists continued to flee Irma Sunday.

McMaster said state and local law enforcement, as well as armed National Guardsmen would be patrolling evacuated areas to protect them.

If you feel that you may have been the victim of a scam or price gouging while in the aforementioned counties, please contact the Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit. The complaints will be investigated once the storm has passed.

The Aiken County Public School District has said it has no plans for school closings related to the storm, but asks that families with school children stay connected to district communications through the weekend. "The bulk of the impacts are expected during Monday", said Steve Pfaff, warning coordination meteorologist with NWS.

"So when you refuse to evacuate when a mandatory order has been issued, you have said you're going to do it on your own", he said.

Hurricane Irma, a record Category 5 storm, is seen in this NOAA National Weather Service National Hurricane Center image from GOES-16 satellite taken on September 5.

Georgia Power crews are already on standby, with crews in neighboring states ready to go as well.

After the storm passes, however, evacuees from Florida and Georgia are expected to choke S.C. roads again, as they attempt to get back home.

SC evacuated much of its coast in October when Hurricane Matthew skirted the shoreline before coming ashore just north of Charleston with winds of 75 miles per hour.

However, store shelves should be restocked by now, and brand-name gas stations also have a steady supply of fuel.