The National Hurricane Center recently issued a hurricane warning for portions of the South Carolina coast. Forecasters now believe Ian, which is currently a tropical storm, will make landfall somewhere near Charleston as a category one hurricane. Everyone should finalize their storm preparations today and continue to check the frequently changing forecasts from the Hurricane Center and local weather outlets.
“If you haven’t yet made plans for every contingency, this afternoon is the time to do so,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We can expect to experience a lot of rain throughout the state along with dangerous storm surge in low-lying coastal areas. With the potential for hurricane force winds along our coast, it’s important for South Carolinians to plan now.
“While we will not see the full force of Hurricane Ian the way Florida did, we could see high winds, rain, flash flooding and even tornadoes,” S.C. Emergency Management Director Kim Stenson said. “Flooding due to storm surge and rain could be a major concern. Over the next day, it will be vital for everyone to be prepared to act if told to do so by your local public safety officials.”
Residents in low-lying areas prone to flooding, particularly along the coast, should have a plan to move to higher ground if their homes become unsafe.
Local agencies are opening emergency shelters based on need and storm conditions. Shelter locations, when open, will be posted on the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website and mobile app.
While finalizing storm preparations, keep in mind the following:
- Be aware of potential flash flooding and storm surge. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move.
- If time allows, prepare your home for a flood by moving essential items to an upper floor, bring in outdoor furniture, disconnect electrical appliances and be prepared to turn off the gas, electricity and water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
- Have several ways to get emergency information. Examples include NOAA Weather Radio, CodeRED notifications, Wireless Emergency Alerts for mobile devices and others. Make sure your devices have back up batteries and extra chargers.
- If a high wind or tornado warning is issued for your area, get indoors to a pre-designated shelter area such as a basement, storm cellar or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls.
All official recommendations concerning personal safety will be based on the best available information from the NHC, local National Weather Service offices and in coordination with local and state public safety officials.
Governor McMaster will be joined by state officials for a media briefing today, Thursday, September 29 at 4:00 PM. The governor will update the public on Hurricane Ian’s potential impact on South Carolina.
The press conference will be streamed live on SCETV’s website at scetv.org