Saturday, October 8, 2016

Coastal evacuees may not be able to return for days

Haley warns of cyber attacks

Posted by Dustin Waters on Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 11:39 AM

Lowcountry residents who evacuated the area are advised not to return for the next two days as Hurricane Matthew continues to ravage the coastline.

More than 100 roads are currently closed in Charleston County due to fallen trees, powerlines, and flooding. County officials say the storm isn't expected to completely clear the Charleston area until 9 p.m. Saturday night.

This afternoon's high tide at 1 p.m. is expect to be higher than usual aggravating the already heavily flooded downtown area. According to Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, the Medical District has been particularly affected by storm surge and flooding. In addition to low-lying mainland areas, the coastal islands have been especially hard hit by Hurricane Matthew. Kiawah and Seabrook island are currently inaccessible, and Pawleys Island is without cell-phone service.

Emergency crews and many law enforcement agencies have been pulled from the roads as high winds have made travel unsafe. Among the agencies currently not responding are Charleston County EMS, Charleston County Sheriff's Office, North Charleston Police, city of Charleston Police, and fire departments in West Ashley, Mt. Pleasant, and downtown. An accurate assessment of damages is not likely to come until Sunday morning once crews are able to get back on the roads.

Gov. Nikki Haley warned evacuees about threats from cyber attacks. South Carolina residents are reported to have received emails offering updates in power outages. By clicking on these emails, recipients open their computers up to hackers. For those wondering, there are currently 88,000 customers without electricity in Charleston County, 8,000 in Berkeley County, and more than 30,000 in Dorchester County.

"Now is when the frustration sets in," said Gov. Nikki Haley, who announced that evacuees may not be able to return until Monday or later. "Because the anxiousness is when the storm is coming. When the storm hits, you're praying. And then now the frustration sets in. What I am going to ask from you is patience."

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