Georgia, Carolinas clearing out as Hurricane Matthew closes in on coast

Atlantic coast preparing

Last Updated Oct 6, 2016 9:46 PM EDT

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. -- People who live in Georgia and South Carolina are clearing out of Matthew’s path

The Hunters have called coastal Georgia home for forty years. But Thursday, they’re leaving it all behind. 

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People wait to check in at a Red Cross shelter at Trinity On The Hill Methodist church as Hurricane Matthew approaches the Georgia coast in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., October 6, 2016.  REUTERS

The Waters family is doing the same 

“I grabbed the the boys baby books, I grabbed the wedding album, that a girlfriend of mine made us, couple of important papers and we’re outta here,” Mrs. Waters said. 

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The Waters family packs their car before fleeing ahead of Hurricane Matthew.  CBS News

Fearing a storm surge of 10 to 12 feet, 15 inches of rain and hurricane force winds, Georgia joined South Carolina Thursday in ordering mandatory evacuations for people on the coast.

It also reversed 125 miles of east-bound lanes on Interstate 16 to accommodate those leaving. 

Hurricane Matthew tears through Bahamas


South Carolina did the same on I-26, as businesses in Charleston boarded up.

Both states have deployed the National Guard and opened shelters for those with no where to run.

CBS News caught up with the mayor of Tybee Island Jason Buelterman just before he evacuated.

“You can replace your home, you can replace a community building, but you cannot replace a human life,” he said. 

The mayor fears the shallow coastal shelf could spell disaster if Matthew pushes up a sizable storm surge, as it is expected to do. The mayor also said the last time a hurricane followed this exact track and gained strength, it obliterated this entire island.