LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — It’s quiet at the state Emergency Operations Center Tuesday afternoon and officials hope it stays that way.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to impact South Carolina Wednesday.
South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) Public Information Coordinator Bradon LaVorgna said, “We are not predicting anything catastrophic at this time, but Mother Nature can change course or direction at any moment. So that’s why we’re asking people to be mindful now.”
LaVorgna said all South Carolinians should have a Hurricane Plan regardless of where they live. He said state emergency officials will continue to watch Elsa closely. He recommends watching local weather reports and listening to local emergency management officials.
Governor Henry McMaster and state officials are urging South Carolinians to make final preparations ahead of Elsa.
Officials said forecasters with the National Hurricane Center predict portions of South Carolina’s coast will experience tropical storm conditions beginning Wednesday and into Thursday morning. Forecasters expect gusty winds, rain, the potential for flash flooding, isolated tornados, and an estimated storm surge of 1-2 feet are all possible.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) recommends the following:
- Bring in lawn furniture and other loose objects, such as garbage cans, that may become hazards in high winds.
- Double check to make sure you have all emergency supplies listed in the South Carolina Hurricane Guide. Include items like hand sanitizer and face masks to guard against COVID-19.
- Those along the coast may experience isolated power outages and should prepare keep your cell phones and mobile devices fully charged in case of power outages Wednesday.
- Have multiple ways to get emergency warnings for your area. Some options include Wireless Emergency Alerts on your mobile phone, NOAA Weather Radio, and CodeRED Emergency Notifications.
- Also utilize the state’s new hurricane preparedness site, hurricane.sc
- Heed warnings issued by local public safety officials. When you hear an official alert, take safety precautions immediately.
If you are unable to remain in your home:
- Residents who live in mobile homes or in low lying areas prone to flooding may need to consider staying elsewhere during the storm. Stay with friends and family as a first option. Go to a motel or hotel, if possible. Emergency shelters will open if necessary.
Be aware of potential flash flooding:
- If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move.
- Do not walk through moving water. Three to six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
- Do not ever try to drive around or move barricades that are blocking a street.
SCEMD is coordinating with other state agencies and ready to respond to Tropical Storm Elsa accordingly.