McMaster says no plans to issue state of emergency for South Carolina
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster said he has no plans of issuing a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Isaias.
“We have no intention of issuing an emergency evacuation order,” he said during a press conference Friday afternoon. “It looks like it will not be necessary.”
The governor said he will re-evaluate evacuation orders if the storm cuts closer to the coast.
“But right now we’re hoping this storm will not hit us hard, if it hits at all,” he said.
Officials with the state emergency management division said they are closely monitoring the hurricane.
SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said they are working with DHEC to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during any kind of storm response. McMaster said there are currently no plans to cancel any testing sites.
Stenson said although no evacuations are being planned at this time, the department is ready to support shelters for people who may be in structures that they feel are unsafe during the storm’s winds.
“That will be as requested by the local authorities,” Stenson said.
The latest forecast track, updated by the National Hurricane Center, showed a slight shift to the west, meaning it would likely pass closer to the South Carolina coast.
It also changed the estimated timing closer to 8 a.m. Monday morning.
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The storm is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane when it passes by the state. But the National Weather Service says there will be a high rip current risk starting Saturday and continuing until after Isaias passes by.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division urged South Carolinians to make necessary preparations ahead of the storm.
“We’ve been watching Hurricane Isaias very closely over the past few days,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said, “There is still a lot of uncertainty in the forecast. It will be important for everyone to review their hurricane plans now and pay close attention to the forecasts over the weekend.”
Residents should review their personal safety plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storm threatens the state:
- Be sure your emergency supplies kit has enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, chargers, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.
- Prepare your home for tropical storm conditions by making sure gutters are cleaned, storm drains are clear and any lawn furniture can be secured.
- Keep your cell phones and mobile devices charged in case of power outages.
- Gather pet supplies and put them in an easily-accessible container.
- Know Your Zone. Residents in coastal counties can know their hurricane evacuation zone instantly by visiting scemd.org/KnowYourZone or downloading the SC Emergency Manager mobile app.
- Stay tuned to local media for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.
- Follow trusted, verified sources for the latest news and be prepared to follow the instructions of state and local public safety officials.
Residents should download the SC Emergency Manager mobile app to build a personal emergency plan, keep track of emergency supplies, and have a way to stay connected with loved ones in addition to official emergency information. The SC Emergency Manager is available in the App Store and on Google Play: http://onelink.to/dn92rx
The official 2020 S.C. Hurricane Guide is available at scemd.org and can be found locally at any Walgreens, select Piggly Wiggly locations, coastal DMV offices and all South Carolina Welcome Centers.
The South Carolina Emergency Response Team remains at Operational Condition Level Two for COVID-19 response and for Hurricane Isaias. The state’s emergency operations center is partially activated to respond to requests for resources should they be needed by local emergency managers.
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