State of Emergency declared in South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Irma

South Carolina governor declares state of emergency to help prepare for possible Hurricane Irma strike. (Photo credit: NOAA / NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)

Gov. Henry McMaster has declared a state of emergency in South Carolina to help prepare for a possible strike early next week from Hurricane Irma.

McMaster made the declaration Wednesday after the National Hurricane Center's forecast on Irma's track shifted east, putting the prospect of a major hurricane just off the coast of Florida about 200 miles (320 kilometers) away from Charleston by Monday morning.

The declaration allows the state to begin certain preparations for an emergency and allows McMaster to use the National Guard if necessary.

South Carolina evacuated much of its coast in October when Hurricane Matthew skirted the shoreline before coming ashore just north of Charleston.

The last major hurricane to hit South Carolina was Hugo in September 1989 with winds of 135 mph (215 kph).

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