Governor Henry McMaster has declared a State of Emergency in advance of any potential impacts from Hurricane Idalia. The Governor’s State of Emergency declaration puts state emergency plans into effect, enabling agencies to better coordinate resources jointly and respond to requests for state assistance from county emergency managers.
The National Hurricane Center predicts Idalia will weaken into a Tropical Storm as it moves into South Carolina on Wednesday, with storm conditions lasting through Thursday morning. Residents should continue to monitor the official forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, local media and official social media accounts from public safety agencies for the latest information.
Forecasters predict the most significant impacts are expected in the eastern Midlands throughout the coastal plain with 4 to 8 inches of rain. The strongest winds will occur in the easternmost portion of the state. Downed trees and power lines are likely. Heavy rainfall will result in flash flooding. Minor to moderate river flooding is also possible across portions of the state. Isolated tornados are also possible.
People in low-lying areas and areas normally prone to flooding should have a plan for where to go if conditions become unsafe to stay in their homes. Stay with friends or family as a first option. Go to a motel or hotel, if possible. Emergency shelters will open depending on need by local officials.
Be aware of potential flash flooding:
- If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move.
- Do not walk through moving water. Three to 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.
- Never drive around or move barricades blocking a street.
Be cautious of downed trees and power lines:
- Never touch or attempt to remove fallen limbs from downed or sagging power lines.
- Always report downed lines to your utility provider. Never call 9-1-1 to report downed power lines or power outages.
- Keep children and pets away from fallen electric lines.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has raised the state’s readiness and response to Operating Condition Level Two, or OPCON 2. SCEMD has several resources available for people to prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms, including the state’s online interactive hurricane guide at hurricane.sc.