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., Saturday, September 15, 2018.
There has been one storm related fatality at this time. Amber Dorn Lee of Union County passed away due to a downed tree on the highway. Governor McMaster expressed his sympathies and extended his prayers to her family and friends.
According to the National Weather Service, heavy rainfall continues across northeast South Carolina, with catastrophic flooding going on across northeast South and North Carolina. Tropical Storm Florence has weakened with sustained winds around 40 miles-per-hour. The storm is currently 40 miles south of Florence, South Carolina in Williamsburg, South Carolina. It is still very slow moving, and since making landfall in S.C., moving around 3 miles-per-hour.
The highest wind gusts recording in South Carolina have been 61 miles-per-hour at Myrtle Beach International Airport and in Marion. Winds of 54 miles-per-hour have been reported in the Midlands.
The text ropical storm warning in the Charleston Tri-County area was lifted eariler this morning, but remains in effect in the Grand Strand, Pee Dee and eastern and central Midlands. Tropical storm wind gusts of 40 to 50 miles-per-hour are still possible into this evening in those areas. Wind should diminish on Sunday. North Carolina has had significant flash flooding and heavy rainfall of up to 30 inches.
The risk for flash flooding in South Carolina is not over. Flash flood warnings are ongoing. The Pee Dee River Basin has the potential to flood. Take precautions now and stay connected to local emergency mangement divisions. Rainfall of eight inches plus is possible across the state. The potential for heavy rains will last until the beginning of next week.
"It has been most unpredicatable, but what has been predictable and steady is our concern about the heavy rain and the flooding." McMaster said.
Team South Carolina has lifted the evacuation orders for Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties and Edisto Beach. The evacuation order remains in effect in Horry and Georgetown counties. State offices and schools in those counties remain closed, but all other closed state offices and schools will reopen on Monday.
"This has been an exercise in professionalism by people all over this state including volunteers and the citizens themselves. We've had help from nine different states as well as President Trump's involvement from his administration." McMaster said.
"We have a great team here in South Carolina."
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.