Hurricane Watches in Effect for Big Bend and South Georgia

Watch Hurricane Irma as it moves towards Florida

Watch Hurricane Irma as it moves towards Florida Credit

Donning an orange vest with "bus provisioner" written on the back, Compassion Christian Church member Shannah Lane was one of multiple volunteers helping to direct residents to get signed in, get on board the bus and ensure their luggage was stored along with them.

Your First Alert Weather Team is monitoring powerful Hurricane Irma in the Florida Straits. "We're saying with some certainty that there will be impact, but the magnitude is what's in question".

The threat posed by Hurricane Irma has prompted officials at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor to drop all tours.

As of the 11 a.m., advisory, Irma was still an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said Wednesday it's releasing water from Lake Murray northwest of Columbia to reduce the possibility of flooding when Irma's rains arrive. While he hopes the storm turns away from North Carolina, he wants to be prepared in the event it hits Sampson County. That's where the question of impact comes in for North Carolina. Decisions regarding evacuation of students from the island will be made on Saturday once forecasts become more specific regarding the projections for the North Carolina coast.

At present, the storm appears poised to unleash its full fury on the east coast of the United States - with Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas directly in its projected path.

"It's beyond the limits of science and models to predict that far out, which is why there's so much error in the track", Pfaff explained.

Gov. McMaster says they are not going to issue a statewide school closing.

With Hurricane Matthew fresh in the minds of Bladen County residents, Pfaff offered some suggestions.

"That is a very long time for you to be injured", he said.

"We have a lot of people trained to respond", McMaster said.

The governor encourages people to know their evacuation route and to follow posted signs instead of Global Positioning System or smart phones. Emergency food, water, and medical prescriptions, he said, should be at the top of all residents' lists.

Although a direct hit on the Golden Isles looks less likely than it did earlier this week, Glynn County emergency officials stress that the combination of Irma and a nor'easter forecast to settle in Sunday will cause a unsafe storm surge, high winds and a large amount of rain. And the remaining western portion, Zone C, is set to begin at 8 a.m. Sunday.

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