COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – Gov. Nikki Haley urged South Carolina residents who have been ordered to evacuate to do just that ahead of Hurricane Matthew.
"This is a scary storm," Haley said during a Thursday evening press conference. "This is a storm that should be taken seriously. We really need you to evacuate.
Haley said that 280,000 people had already evacuated as of 3 p.m., Thursday. She added the hope is that 500,000 residents will head further inland, which includes residents of Horry and Georgetown counties.
At a Thursday morning news conference, Haley ordered the evacuation of Zone A in Horry and Georgetown counties. That evacuation began at 12 p.m.
Throughout Thursday night's news conference, Haley stressed that residents need to be diligent and prepare for Matthew.
"We are expecting extended outages and we are expecting a lot of outages," she said.
Haley added that Beaufort Memorial Hospital was evacuating, to emphasize the seriousness of the storm.
According to Haley, high-level bridges across the state will close when winds hit 40 mph. That would include the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston.
Haley will hold another press conference on Matthew Friday morning.