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Advisory: Hurricane Irma Update: Jasper County Shelter Open for Beaufort County Evacuees. Tidal surge already being reported.

Beaufort County is officially under a hurricane watch, to include a storm surge watch, as of 11:00 AM, which means hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge inundation are possible within the next 48 hours. There has been some confusion about shelters available for Beaufort County residents and guests evacuating the barrier islands. The Red Cross opened a shelter in Jasper County at 10:00 AM this morning to accommodate evacuees Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School located at 25 0 Jaguar Trail, in Ridgeland. Two Red Cross shelters will be available in Beaufort County on Sunday at 9:00 AM. Those shelters are the Bluffton High School located at 12 H. E. McCracken Drive in Bluffton and Battery Creek High School located at 1 Blue Dolphin Drive in Burton.

A mandatory evacuation order has been in effect for the barrier islands of Beaufort County started at 10:00 AM this morning, September 9, 2017. Beaufort County barrier islands under the mandatory evacuation order are Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island, Harbour Island, Hunting Island and Fripp Island. At 10:00 AM this morning road blocks were put in place and residents and guests will no longer be allowed access to the affected barrier islands, until the evacuation order is lifted. Only first responders, along with medical, water, utility and  those with critical needs identified and  approved through Sherff’s Office Emergency Management are being allowed access.

Also as of this morning a coastal flood advisory was issued for Beaufort County between the hours of 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM with high tides and salt water inundation possible in low-lying areas. We would like to take this opportunity to remind our residents and guests again that storm surge and wind are possible in low-lying areas throughout Beaufort County, even those areas not under mandatory evacuation. Please limit your driving to only that which is necessary to avoid possible flooding and to allow ease of travel to those evacuating. Beaufort County residents and guests are encouraged to keep up-to-date with the storm through the National Weather Service Charleston http://www.weather.gov/chs/  Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management continues to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and additional information will be released as  soon as it becomes available.  Thank you for your patience.
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