The Daily Gamecock

University of South Carolina classes canceled all week in preparation for Hurricane Matthew

University of South Carolina Wednesday, Thursday and Friday classes are canceled.

Student Body President Michael Parks gave the following statement Tuesday night: "I respect our university's leadership in ensuring that our students are safe and well prepared for the inbound inclement weather. Above anything else, the wellbeing of UofSC students is a top priority, and I hope that our student body stays in tune with the status and direction of the incoming storm and state of emergency via Carolina Alert as well as news outlets."

Gov. Nikki Haley has canceled schools in several counties around the state in addition to issuing an evacuation order for coastal counties and declaring a state of emergency for all of South Carolina Tuesday due to Hurricane Matthew. At a conference Wednesday morning, Haley said that a quarter of a million people are expected to evacuate Wednesday and that hotels in Columbia are almost full.

Starting Wednesday, schools will be closed for the remainder of the week in Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg counties.

The school's administration announced Tuesday that it is monitoring the progress of the hurricane, particularly in reference to Saturday night's home football game against Georgia. Any decision on the status of the game will come from the SEC.

Officials expect 1.1 million people to evacuate from the coastal counties, according to The State. Starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, a phased evacuation order will take effect in an effort to get residents 100 miles from the coast. Eastbound lanes will be reversed to travel away from the coast, and all traffic on Interstate 26 will travel west until the intersection with I-77 at exit 116 in Columbia.

Current projections expect the storm to reach South Carolina Saturday morning. The storm hit land in Haiti Tuesday morning.

More Hurricane Matthew coverage:

Hurricane Matthew set to test already-battered South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley calls for alertness, quick evacuations from coastal regions