No evacuation needed, only caution, says Haley

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley addressed the state Wednesday afternoon to make everyone aware of where the state stands as far as an evacuation in response to Hurricane Irene.

Haley said during the 25 minute media availability that the state is taking a step back as the National Hurricane Center projects Irene to continue it's eastwardly shift over the next three days.

"We don't see any need for evacuation," stated Haley.

The governor also noted that South Carolina is not totally out of the clear, as a sudden shift in the category 3 hurricane could easily alter the state's plans.

"We can't ever assume South Carolina gets a pass from hurricane season. We're not totally out of it yet. Should it move…we're still in the planning mode and [will] jump right back into it," she confirmed.

Haley noted that county agencies are stepping up and taking control of warning residents and helping them prepare for the storm, specifically mentioning Horry County, while the state continues to monitor Irene's path.

"Horry County is great when it comes to these things," Haley complimented in addressing county agencies preparing for hurricanes. "I think they've had lots of practice."

A decline in vacationers was also on the mind of the governor as she reported that the coastal regions of the state have seen a 15 to 20 percent decrease in hotel bookings for this weekend.

"The tourists can comfortably stay on the coast," smiled Haley, urging beach goers to enjoy their vacation as Irene seems to be heading away from the coast.

Haley also encouraged South Carolinians to take Irene's presence as a warning to be prepared in case another storm should threaten the coast. She urged families to put together a survival kit and to have all important documentation stored together, so if an emergency should occur, families will have all necessities in order.

Before steering off the topic of Hurricane Irene, Haley assured the media she will continue to monitor the storm's track.

"I won't sleep until she's back out into the ocean," promised Haley.

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