"It’s going to be a lousy weekend here, and it’s going to be a good weekend to be somewhere else," he said.But for some, evacuating is a privilege they just can't afford.
"I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck, and especially since the majority of my check just went to rent, I have enough money to ride out the storm, but I’m not ready to spend even $40 to $50 a night for a hotel," said Harry Shinn, a cook at Woody's Pizza on Folly Beach just south of Charleston.
Shinn lives two blocks from the Atlantic, but says his car is only good enough for the five blocks it takes to get to and from work. There is a chance his vehicle would not survive the high speeds on I-26 heading to Columbia.
"I kind of believe I still don’t know what’s gonna happen until it gets closer, probably tomorrow," he said in a phone call Wednesday afternoon.
Shinn's roommate has already left for Florida. If the storm gets any worse, he says he's likely to drive a couple miles north to his friend's house on James Island, where he rode out Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
"It wasn’t even until this morning that I was able, in good conscience, to close my store," said Riley, who manages the Lulu Burgess boutique on King Street. "My entire staff are college girls, so they immediately evacuated. I was the only person left to close things down and shutter the windows and all that."
"One of the other reasons why I’m super hesitant to go is that I feel like my Vespa is here and it’ll be stolen or flooded out," she admits. "That's my biggest concern because that is my transportation."
Some are crossing their fingers that the storm isn't that bad, but have already made plans to ditch town last minute if things look like they're heading south — literally.
"I do have a reservation in Augusta, Ga. in a hotel just in case," said Mt. Pleasant resident and accountant Virginie Murphy. "This past weekend I was in Florence for a state tennis championship and I tried to get a room Sunday before I left, but they were all sold out already."
SERVICE REMINDER:— CARTA (@RideCARTA) September 12, 2018
- All service -- regular and emergency -- ends at 9 p.m. and will be suspended until further notice.
- In the meantime, call the Charleston Co. Emergency Hotline at (843) 746-3900 to get started on bus transportation.
- Full details at https://t.co/V4pNnBBvcN pic.twitter.com/C8zNrcrrX4
"We’re just getting over being out of work for one week, and now we’re going to be out of work for another week," she said.
The West Ashley resident drives a 1999 Nissan Quest that she says would be too "impractical" to drive outside of county limits. She laughed when she heard McMaster's "premature" evacuation order on Monday.
"I have very little family," she said. "My family’s all passed away. My brother lives in Germany, and that’s far to go."
"Mayor Tecklenburg plans to ride out the storm in the Municipal Emergency Operations Center with the rest of the city’s emergency response team," according to Charleston city spokesperson Cameron Wolfsen.