‘We’re thoroughly prepared’: McMaster declares state of emergency ahead of Idalia
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster said he declared a state of emergency Tuesday but insisted the state is ready to face the effects of the storm.
The state’s Emergency Management Division headquarters is already staffed and he said the whole group will assemble Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.
His state of emergency came “out of an abundance of caution,” he said, adding that such a declaration allows state agencies to move faster to move people and equipment to areas where they may be needed and to remove restrictions that he said would slow things down.
TRACKING IDALIA COVERAGE
“I do not anticipate issuing any evacuation orders. I do not anticipate closing any state agencies or facilities,” he said. “We don’t think it’s gonna be necessary to do that. Of course, the school activities, what they do, they all can be up to the local school districts.”
McMaster urged South Carolinians to turn to official sources of information, warning that they should not rely on social media.
“I remind everybody of a number of things: Please get your prescriptions, your papers, your pets ready to move,” he said. “Expect to be out of power because these winds knock down limbs and that knocks down power lines. But all of the power companies, everyone is ready to respond very quickly.”
He also reminded people to take the threat of tornadoes seriously and to get into the interior of your home or a basement or safe place if a tornado should move into your area.
“And please do not drive into any water,” he said. “We’ve had tragedies over the years of people going into water that was deeper than it looked and the car stalled and then the rain proceeded on in to wash vehicles into even deeper water. We’ve had people drown in vehicles stuck in the water.”
McMaster said the state is moving people and equipment to get them positioned.
“If it gets better, that’s good. If it gets worse, gets stronger, we are prepared to go all in,” he said.
Live 5 First Alert Meteorologist Joey Sovine said while Idalia’s outer bands could produce periods of rain Wednesday morning, the most intense weather from the storm is likely to be between 4 p.m. Wednesday until about 4 a.m. Thursday.
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