Georgia, South Carolina governors give updates on Ian

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2022 at 9:13 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp gave an update Friday morning on the state’s response to Hurricane Ian.

Watch a stream of that update above.

Ian carved a path of destruction across Florida, trapping people in flooded homes and knocking out power to 2.5 million people. Although we’re not going to feel the full effects of Ian after it comes ashore again near Charleston on Friday, there will be some impacts in the CSRA in the form of rain and wind.

MORE COVERAGE:

A state of emergency issued by Kemp went into effect at 7 a.m. Thursday for all 159 of Georgia’s counties, making state resources available to local governments and entities within the hurricane impact area.

The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency State Operations Center is now at a Level 1 full-scale activation and continues to monitor Ian’s progress.

Teams from the relevant state agencies are also standing by to deploy to affected counties, when appropriate.

The governor and emergency management officials are also coordinating with Georgia’s utility providers, which have been staging equipment, inspecting the right-of-way paths of power lines, and preparing to respond to any power outages homes and businesses may experience.

A number of Floridians have come to Georgia over the past several days, and Georgia is welcoming them with open arms.

In South Carolina

Like Kemp, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has declared a state of emergency.

McMaster said while the state is ready, he is concerned about human error and South Carolinians not taking the storm as seriously as they need to.

Ian “is stronger than some that we’ve had but weaker than others. But the concern is always human error and people taking chances, people driving on the roads when they can’t see the road, trying to go out in a hurry to get medication or to take care of or to do something they could have done before the rain and the wind were upon us and doing it last-minute,” he said. “Whether it’s a hurricane or tropical storm, you need to prepare.”

What’s ahead for South Carolina?

“Wind gusts could reach 60 to 70 mph along the coast and inland areas into the forecast track,” National Weather Service meteorologist John Quagliariello said. “There’s many other areas in the central and eastern portion of the state possibly seeing gusts of 45 to 60 mph at times. There’s a risk along portions of the central and northern South Carolina coast of hurricane force winds.”

He said those winds will result in downed trees and power lines, along with minor damage to roofs shingles and vinyl siding.

“Perhaps most concerning is the increased threat of storm surge flooding,” Quagliariello said. “Storm surge warnings are now in effect for the entire South Carolina coast.”

The storm surge could be as high as 4 to 6 feet along the southern coast and three to five feet in Georgetown, he said. Charleston’s high tide will roll in at noon, as the storm is already dumping rain and bring a storm surge into the area.

South Carolina Emergency Management Division Executive Director Kim Stenson said residents in low-lying areas, particularly along the coast, should have a plan to move to higher ground

McMaster declared a state of emergency Wednesday, which allows state agencies to bypass rules and regulations that might otherwise slow responses during an emergency situation. It also allows the state to draw down federal funds from FEMA faster.

He said he had been in contact with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and said South Carolina is ready to send any supplies this state does not need to help Florida residents recover from the impacts of Ian, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm.

“We’ve prepared and gone through a lot of hurricanes and storms over the years,” McMaster said. “But it’s always, it’s always something that’s unexpected that typically could have been avoided if people thought a little more.”

He said while we can’t stop Mother Nature, “we can take care of ourselves,” which is why they try to sound the alarm so people can be repaired.

Here’s a stream of McMaster’s update:

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said it’s closely monitoring Ian and preparing for its potential impact.

“Regardless of whether Ian enters South Carolina as a hurricane or tropical storm, it could have a powerful impact on our state,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, director of the agency. “DHEC has been taking the necessary steps to help limit the extent of those impacts and to protect the health and environment of South Carolina before, during and after the storm.”

DHEC, meanwhile, is expanding the services and hours of its care line beginning today. Staff will be able to answer questions about services interrupted due to Hurricane Ian and general questions about medical needs shelters. The number is 855-472-3432 and it will be open for calls 24/7 until no longer needed.