CHARLESTON, South Carolina – South Carolina, according to Governor Henry McMaster, is no longer in the planning phase for Hurricane Ian and is actively implementing its storm response strategy.
McMaster stated that while the state is prepared for Hurricane Florence, he is concerned about human error and South Carolinians not taking the storm seriously enough.
“[Ian] is stronger than some individuals we’ve encountered, but weaker than others. People driving on roads when they can’t see the road, attempting to get out in a rush to obtain medication or to take care of or to do something they might have done before the rain and wind arrived, and doing it at the last minute are always a concern,” he said. “You must prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms alike.”
Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for the entire South Carolina coastline. The National Hurricane Center has elevated Tropical Storm Ian to a Category 1 hurricane as of 5 p.m.
John Quagliariello, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said, “Today, forecast tendencies have become more worrisome in terms of potential implications for South Carolina.”
According to the most recent forecast, the storm will make landfall in the state’s central and northern regions. It will be the first hurricane to strike South Carolina since 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.
“Wind gusts could reach 60 to 70 miles per hour near the shore and in inland areas if the anticipated track is accurate.” Numerous additional sites in the state’s central and eastern regions may occasionally see winds of 45 to 60 mph. There is a risk of hurricane-force winds for areas of the central and northern South Carolina coast.”
According to him, these winds will cause felled trees and power lines, as well as moderate damage to asphalt shingles and vinyl siding.
Perhaps most worrisome is the increased risk of storm surge flooding, according to Quagliariello. There are now storm surge warnings for the whole coast of South Carolina.
He stated that the storm surge might reach heights of between four and six feet along the southern coast and between three and five feet in Georgetown. As the storm is already dropping rain and bringing a storm surge to the area, Charleston’s high tide will arrive at noon.
Executive Director of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division Kim Stenson stated that inhabitants of low-lying areas, particularly along the coast, should have a plan to relocate to higher land.
Wednesday, McMaster announced a state of emergency, allowing state agencies to waive laws and regulations that could otherwise hinder emergency responses. It also expedites the state’s access to federal funds from FEMA.
He stated that he has spoken with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and that South Carolina is prepared to send any goods our state does not need to help Florida citizens recover from the effects of Category 4 Hurricane Ian.
McMaster stated, “We have prepared for and through numerous hurricanes and storms over the years.” “However, it is always something unexpected that could have been prevented if individuals had given it a little more thought.”
While we cannot stop Mother Nature, he continued, “we can take care of ourselves,” which is why they are trying to raise the alert so that people can be mended.