Hours after Hurricane Michael touched down in the Florida panhandle as a strong Category 4 storm, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster seemed optimistic about the outlook for the Palmetto State.
From an Emergency Management Office in Aiken, McMaster compared the nearing Michael to last month’s Hurricane Florence.
“This will not be, as far as we can tell, a repeat of what we saw in Florence,” McMaster said. “It will not be like Hugo. It will be high winds and a good bit of water.”
Forecasters at the National Weather Service said Tuesday that Hurricane Michael could hit parts of South Carolina harder than Hurricane Florence in some ways. While the latest storm isn’t expected to dump as much rain on the Palmetto State as its predecessor, winds are expected to be stronger in some areas.
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“We just need to be prepared,” McMaster said.
During Florence, South Carolina saw record flooding, McMaster said. Now, the state is expecting to see 2 to 6 inches of rain during Hurricane Michael, he added.
The governor did mention concerns for flash flooding in the already-waterlogged Pee Dee region. With the ground already saturated with waters from Florence, McMaster said he was concerned over whether new rainfall would create a new flooding issue.
“This is just a reminder that we live in hurricane alley,” McMaster said.
S.C. Emergency Management Division Director Kim Stenson urged residents to nevertheless be prepared for the storm. Until first responders can hit the streets, residents may be on their own, he said.
On Wednesday, McMaster issued an order keeping South Carolina in a state of emergency and allowing resources deployed during Hurricane Florence to stay in play.
The American Red Cross began opening shelters across the state. Residents can seek shelter at the following locations:
- 3765 Leeds Avenue – North Charleston – Opened at noon
- First Baptist Church of Barnwell – 161 Allen Street, Barnwell – Opened at 2 p.m.
- Williamsburg Recovery Center – 2084 Thurgood Marshall Hwy, Kingstree – Opened at 10 a.m.
- Orangeburg City Gym - 1420 Broughton St, Orangeburg – Opened at 3 p.m.
- Kilbourne Park Baptist Church - 4205 Kilbourne Rd, Columbia – Opening at 5 p.m. Wednesday
- Lee Central High School -- 1800 Wisacky Hwy, Bishopville – Opening at 6 p.m. Wednesday
- James Brandt Building – 398 Barnwell Highway, Allendale – Opening at 6 p.m. Wednesday
- Sumter County Recreation Center -- 155 Haynsworth St, Sumter – Opening at 7 p.m. Wednesday
- St. Johns Methodist Church -- 102 E Butler Ave, Saluda – Opening at 7 p.m. Wednesday
- Fairfield Magnet - 1647 Hwy 321 By-Pass N Winnsboro – Opening at 7 p.m. Wednesday
- McCormick First Baptist Church – 108 S. Oak Street, McCormick – Opening at 8 p.m. Wednesday
- Grace Community Church – 1611 Woodlawn Rd, Greenwood – Opening at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday