COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – Gov. Henry McMaster has issued a weather-related state of emergency to aid in recovery efforts in what’s considered the state’s deadliest tornado outbreak in 36 years.
Nine people from Colleton, Hampton, Oconee and Orangeburg counties were killed as a series of twisters moved from one end of the state to the other.
“This declaration does not impact any executive orders issued by the governor in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in any way,” McMaster’s office stated. “It does, however, direct that the state’s Emergency Operations Plan be further placed into effect to continue the state’s response to the severe weather event.”
Once local emergency management officials complete damage assessments, McMaster is expected to request a federal disaster declaration accordingly.
The National Weather Service has confirmed at least 11 tornadoes occurred Monday. As of Wednesday, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division reports at least 911 homes in 21 counties sustained some type of damage. Of those, 181 homes have major damage and 111 were destroyed.
The American Red Cross is sheltering 236 displaced residents in hotels.
Monday was the deadliest day for tornadoes in South Carolina since a March 1984 outbreak brought 12 twisters to the northern part of the state. That outbreak 36 years ago killed 15 people.
Gov. Brian Kemp has also declared a state of emergency in response to the severe weather impact in Georgia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report