COLUMBIA, S.C., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- More than a million residents who live near the South Carolina coast should get at least 100 miles away from their homes before Hurricane Matthew arrives, Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday.
During a news conference, Gov. Haley said the storm's greatest impact is expected Friday and early Saturday and could mean big trouble.
"I would love nothing more than to see this just suddenly take a right hand turn and head back out to sea, but as of right now, we're looking at Friday night into Saturday being pretty brutal," she said.
"It's not going to be a fast evacuation, but what we ask is that you be patient and understand that it could take up to several hours," she added. "If you can leave early, do that."
Haley advised about 1.1 million people who live in the state's coastal areas to leave by the time the category 4 hurricane arrives.
The governor did not specify what type of evacuation she is implementing.
"An evacuation is an evacuation," she said, adding that coastal residents should move at least 100 miles inland.
To aid the evacuations, Haley said lane reversals on highways near the coastlines, including the Interstate 26 corridor, will begin at 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
Haley said the time of the evacuation could change if Matthew alters course or the expected weather conditions improve or worsen.
Officials plan to send hundreds of buses to the coast to shuttle some of the residents away from Matthew's path.
Forecasters said Tuesday that the storm's track shows it could deliver a direct hit on the Carolinas this weekend.