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Barrier islands businesses, homes boarded up; Evacuation began at 10 a.m.

Lady's Island Walmart (Provided)

Those living on barrier islands in three South Carolina Counties were told to leave their homes at 10 a.m. this morning.

The evacuation order was announced by Gov. Henry McMaster during a press conference Friday evening.

Photos above show the Walmart on Lady's Island in Beaufort County, which opened at 7 a.m. with boarded windows. Managers at the store have not said how long they plan to keep the store open. TRACK THE STORM

The store is within the area where state officials have advised people to leave. The governor's evacuation order specifically applies to barrier islands in Beaufort County, Colleton County and Jasper County.

ABC News 4 meteorologist Emily Gracey said some coastal flooding in the Lowcounty should be expected. The area will see 4-8 inches of rain, combined with higher tides than usual. There's also a chance of tornadoes as the storm passes through South Carolina.

Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby said police officers and town officials will begin knocking on doors and reminding people it's suggested they leave at 10 a.m.

"We're always prepared because of the environment we live in," Mayor Darby said.

Edisto Beach is home to 712 permanent residents. The mayor said she expects some have already left, some to leave other and some to stand firm and refuse to leave.

"We are cautiously optimistic at this point," she said. Currently the town is still recovering from being buried by sand after storm surge from Hurricane Matthew. They mayor said she will feel better about things once Hurricane Irma reaches Jacksonville and more of the track and how the storm will impact South Carolina is defined.

Check back with ABC News 4 as we continue to follow this story.


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