Tropical Depression Florence: "The Second Phase of Our Work Has Already Begun" Says Governor McMaster

Governor Henry McMaster addressed the public in a press conference from South Carolina’s Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) this afternoon at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, September 16, 2018.

According to the National Weather Service, as of 11 a.m., Florence is a tropical depression and is moving west-northwest at ten miles-per-hour. It is expected to move across the upstate of South Carolina today, and out of the state some time tonight.

There have been bands of persistent, heavy rainfall across the northern part of the state that began yesterday evening and are persisting into this afternoon. The highest recorded rains in South Carolina were 16.6 inches in Chesterfield. Another two to six inches are possible in northern parts of the state. Flash flood watches are still in effect for portions of the Grand Strand, Pee Dee, northern Midlands and Upstate. Flash flood warnings are in effect in Chesterfield and Lancaster counties. If you are in a Flash Flood warning, be prepared to take immediate action. Seek higher ground, and do not drive across flooded roadways.

Tornadoes are possible in the northeast of the state.

Major river flooding is possible into the coming week along the Waccamaw, Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee rivers , and Black Creek.

Governor McMaster confirmed there have been four additional fatalities due to Florence. 

"It's still raining and so the second phase of our work has already begun. It's been well prepared for." McMaster said. Troops, law enforcement, first responders are all stationed in areas of immediate concern. Water is shifting from North Carolina and watersheds are filling with water, so necessary action and monitoring is occuring to ensure the safety of residents in those areas. Governor McMaster urged residents in affected areas to be cautious of deep river flooding and flash flooding.

"Please heed the warnings we are giving to you. We do not want to lose lives to this water. These are avoidable tragedies. We have the team ready to help if you need help." McMaster continued.

A reminder South Carolina’s emergency helpline is now active around the clock. Anyone with questions related to Florence should call the Public Information Phone System at 1-866-246-0133.

For the latest closings, shelter listings and up-to-date information, visit the SCEMD website.

SCETV will be broadcasting all future press conferences related to Florence on television, radio, and our website, as well as streaming on YouTube and on Facebook, and posting any important developments related to the storm and its effects.