South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster Saturday issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency, and is urging state residents to prepare for possible impacts from Hurricane Dorian.
The storm could affect the state starting next week.
The executive order authorizes all state agencies to coordinate resources and enables state and local emergency management agencies to start mobilizing assets and resources to be staged along the coast, according to a news release.
The declaration also puts into effect the State Emergency Operations Plan.
“Given the strength and unpredictability of the storm, we must prepare for every possible scenario,” McMaster said in the release. “State assets are being mobilized now and Team South Carolina is working around the clock to be ready, if necessary. We encourage all South Carolinians who may be impacted by Hurricane Dorian to be vigilant and prepare now. There is no reason for delay."
The S.C. Emergency Management Division is monitoring the hurricane, currently a Category 4 storm. The South Carolina Emergency Response Team is now at OPCON Two, meaning a disaster or emergency is likely to affect the state and emergency operations plans are being implemented.
State residents should review their plans and think about actions they would need to take if the storm threatens the state, the release said. Officials encourage monitoring information on the storm from local news media and following updates from the state emergency management division on social media.
“We’ve been watching Hurricane Dorian very closely over the past week. The current forecast track indicates Dorian will stay out to sea, just off the coast of Florida, and may impact South Carolina,” SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said in a statement. “It is vital that every resident have a personal emergency plan and be ready to take action if told to do so.”
The State Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated with SCEMD staff members in preparation for a full-scale activation Sunday.
“Emergency managers are making initial preparations for the possibility of any hazardous situations while select personnel from SCEMD’s Operations and Preparedness sections continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian from the State Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia,” the release said.
State residents can download the S.C. 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 and emergency information. This year’s official South Carolina hurricane guide is available at scemd.org.
The latest on the storm
Dorian continues to intensify with winds of 150 miles per hour, according to a noon briefing from the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina.
From Wednesday through Thursday night, tropical storm force winds are possible near the coast, with a low chance of hurricane force winds.
The briefing forecasts minor high tide flooding continuing through the holiday weekend in addition to a rising threat for rip currents.
Long-term, the region could see flooding rain, storm surge, tornadoes and damaging winds, especially Wednesday and Thursday. “Confidence remains low to moderate for these threats at this time,” the NWS said.
The storm total rainfall forecast for Dorian is four to eight inches, with higher amounts likely in localities. Locally, most rain will happen Wednesday and Thursday.