Gov. Henry McMaster has declared a state of emergency for South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Ian.
Hurricane Ian made landfall on the southwest coast of Florida on Wednesday (September 28) as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and dangerous storm surges sweeping through communities. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has urged residents to "hunker down" as the storm moves through the state and up the coast.
The dangerous storm is expected to weaken as it moves up Florida and into South Carolina by Friday (September 30), but it can still cause heavy rain across the state and storm surge along the coast, leading to the possibility of flooding. Because of this, McMaster declared the state of emergency on Wednesday to allow for easier coordinated responses across the state in the case of an emergency caused by the storm, per WLTX.
"We do know we'll see a lot of rain and significant storm surge on our coastline over the coming days," said McMaster. "Now is the time for each South Carolinian to make plans for every contingency and be prepared."
While state leaders have not ordered any evacuations, residents are encouraged to prepare for the possibility of an emergency, including ensuring they have flashlights and batteries.
According to WLTX weather experts, the greatest threat from the storm for South Carolina is heavy rain and flash flooding Thursday into Friday, with widespread rainfall totals up to 6 inches. Additionally, heavy tropical-storm-force wind gusts up to 40 mph could sweep through the area.