An evacuation of the S.C. coastline probably will not be necessary because Hurricane Irene is expected to strike North Carolina, not the Palmetto State, Gov. Nikki Haley said during a Wednesday press conference.
This is something the (S.C.) counties can handle, Haley said, adding the state National Guard is no longer on alert.
Haley said she spoke with North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue Wednesday morning and offered assistance should that state be struck. Perdue accepted help from a S.C. National Guard unit that will aid with air traffic control should the storm strike, Haley said.
Haley said she and S.C. emergency officials will continue to meet and monitor the storm in case it makes a last-minute toward South Carolina. I won't sleep until she's back out in the ocean, Haley said.
Hurricane Irene already has made its presence felt to the state's tourism industry. Hotel bookings for this weekend along the state's coast are down up to 20 percent from previous years, Haley said.