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Retired EOC director takes the reins for Hurricane Irma

Retired EOC director Cathy Haynes speaks Thursday and provides an update on Hurricane Irma. (WCIV)

Many locals are likely becoming uncomfortable as forecasts for Hurricane Irma have it impacting South Carolina. Those living in the Lowcountry may have been put at ease Though as a face consistent with emergency situations stood at a podium and provided an update on how Charleston County would be operating.

“Please leave now. If you’re unsure and unconcerned and unsure about your safety and where you live or where you’re staying in the tri-county area you need to go now," Cathy Haynes said.

Cathy Haynes had never seen a hurricane before moving to South Carolina from Nebraska in the 80s. Just two years into her role as chief of the emergency operations center, she went through her first—Hurricane Hugo. She has been the voice that calms citizens during every natural disaster from Hugo to Hurricane Matthew last year. She retired this summer.

But Thursday she was addressing the people of Charleston as she always has. Calmly, but with the serious tone that's appropriate when a serious hurricane could be knocking at the door.

Haynes was one of many officials who provided updates Thursday in a press conference that followed an announcement from the governor. She reiterated some of Gov. Henry McMaster's words, and among the most repeated messages from the governor, Haynes and others -- KNOW YOUR ZONE.

"You need to know what evacuation zone you live in," Haynes said. "It’s very important to know that, to help you understand why you're being told to evacuate. You need to know the evacuation routes.”

Haynes was joined by leaders in Dorchester and Berkeley counties. Those leaders shared similar message. WATCH VIDEO ABOVE

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