Governor Henry McMaster addressed the public from South Carolina's Emergency Management Division on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 2 p.m.
While the storm has moved more westward than originally anticipated, South Carolina is expected to still see impacts, particularly to the south and west of Interstate 26 (I-26).
Hurricane Irma made landfall along the lower Flordia Keys as a Category 4 hurricane. Irma has been approaching the southwest Florida coast, with winds up to 130 miles per hour (mph).
The storm is expected to move along the west coast of Florida and into southwest Georgia on Monday. Stormforce winds are currently extending 190 miles from the center of the storm. Windfields are expected to expand as the storm moves north, as far as 270 miles to the northeast of the center of the storm.
Although the storm is moving more to the west, South Carolina can expect strong northeast winds that will cause moderate to major coastal flooding along the southern and central coast, and minor flooding along the northern coast, particularly at high tides.
Storm surge inundation is expected tonight into Monday, particularlu between 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Water up to four to six feet in typically dry areas could occur from Charleston county south, and inundation can be life-threatening. A storm surge warning is in effect in these areas. Non-threatening inundation up to three feet is expected for the northern portion of the coast on Monday and Monday night. Storm surge inundation could damage property, dunes, roads and beach erosion may occur.
WInd is currently of concern in the state. Tropical storm force wind gusts will develop tonight and persist through Tuesday across the state, with the strongest winds south and west of I-26 and near the coast, where winds of up to 65 mph could occur. Tropical storms and high wind warnings will take effect due to these winds.
Across the central and southern parts of the state, a flash flood watch is in effect for three to six inches of rainfall and isolated amounts of up to eight inches possible. Two to four inches of rainfall is expected to the north. There may be some minor river flooding later in the week, particularly on the Santee River.
There is also an isolated threat for tornadoes, which will be more likely on Monday and Monday night.
Evacuation orders remain in effect for South Carolina's barrier islands.
It is not expected that the storm will shift again, but South Carolina can expect significant rains and high winds. Governor McMaster reminded that these effects would be especially noteable in Jasper, Colleton and Beaufort counties.
As of the conference today, there are 579 National Guard troops in place, 100 troopers assisting law enforcement, 89 state guardsmen in place, and 121 S.L.E.D., Parole and Probations officers, and Department of Natural Resourse agents in place. State and local law enforcement will be patrolling evacuated barrier islands to ensure the safety of homes left behind. Governor McMaster made clear that there would be no tolerance for those seeking to take advantage of this disaster situation.
There are 264 evacuees currently in shelters and over 7,000 spaces still available in shelters.
No lane reversals are expected to occur at this time.
Governor McMasters maintained that the safety of the people was the main concern of Team South Carolina, and urged citizens to use common sense and take care of themselves.
Visit http://www.scemd.org for up to date information on weather alerts, closings and power outages.
For immediate emergency assistance call: 1-866-246-0133