And residents from other areas of the state should also be prepared for a unsafe storm. Some South Carolina utility crews will also be dispatched to help get power back on.
"Search and rescue teams are poised and ready to go 'till we are confident that any threat has passed", said Gov. Cooper. "South Carolina is fortunate to have time to allow us to prepare for Hurricane Irma's potential landfall, and it is important that families and individuals in vulnerable areas use that time to review safety plans in case they are needed".
McMaster confirmed some residents have chosen to stay behind on the barrier islands.
"We still can't let our guard down yet if the storm turns to the north quicker than expected", said Reid Hawkins, science and operations officer for the NWS. "The only exception is I-20, coming in from Augusta", where Georgia motorists continued to flee Irma Sunday.
But once the danger passes, drivers should expect to see a similar influx of cars heading back as were seen prior to Irma's arrival.
What will the weather be like here?
"Here in our local office at the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, we will be focusing on local impacts - for instance how high will the winds get in your neighborhood, rather than just in the state in general", Morrow said.
Wind gusts of 60 to 80 miles per hour, with locally higher gusts possible, will rip across southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama Monday.
Emergency responders have increased their staffing and GDOT is deploying a large number of vehicles that can assist people along roads. The state Transportation Department reports that interstate highways are flowing. The state of emergency prohibits price gouging for all goods and services related to the storm. The company is prepared to respond to this storm as quickly and safely as possible with additional resources available as part of the Southern Company system, which includes multiple electric and gas companies serving more than 9 million customers.
A tow truck driver makes his way through a flooded street August 31, 2006 in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Emergency shelter locations will be announced as soon as they are open.
Yes - Richland 2's Dent Middle School and and Camden High School. Bluffton High School and Battery Creek High School in Beaufort County. Those shelters can house 13,000 evacuees.
OPCON 3 means an emergency situation or disaster is likely, according to the S.C. Emergency Management Division.