WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is urging people to be prepared as state officials continue to prepare for the effects of Hurricane Ian, which is expected to come to the state later this week.
McMaster held a briefing with leaders of several key state agencies at the state's emergency operations center in West Columbia Tuesday afternoon.
"Continue with your activities but prepare for the worst and hope for the best," McMaster said.
Right now, McMaster has not issued a state of emergency or any other orders, but he said that's still a possibility, depending on how the forecast changes.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Ian moving moving inland in central Florida, somewhere around the Tampa, on Wednesday. There still remains some uncertainty of where it goes next, but the consensus track has the Ian dumping rain in South Carolina on Friday ahead of the storm and the actual circulation of the system coming into the state by early Saturday morning. By then, however, it would be either a weak tropical storm or a tropical depression.
A tropical storm watch and a storm surge watch have been issued for the coast as a precaution.
Regardless of the path, the storm would bring heavy rain to the state, with some models projecting anywhere from 3 to 6 inches in the Midlands region, with possibly higher totals right along the coast. There would also be a possibility of severe storms.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division said Monday that people should review their home safety plans and consider what action they will take if the storm threatens the state. They said people particularly in low-lying areas and along the coast should monitor the storm via local media.
Already some large public events have been rescheduled because of the storm. The University of South Carolina rescheduled Saturday's home game against SC State from Saturday afternoon to Thursday night, and many high school football games have also been moved up.