Orange County shares photos of dog rescues
Power outages soar in South Carolina
Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall in South Carolina soon.
Coastal areas are already feeling the effects of the storm, as roads are inundated by storm surges and heavy rains.
A storm surge of two to seven feet is expected along the entire South Carolina coast and authorities expect flooding to worsen this afternoon, making roads impassable.
High winds and strong currents are trapping storm surge waters inland, Gov. Henry McMaster said during a Friday press briefing.
High winds of 50 to 80 mph have already been reported, but gusts of up to 90 mph are expected, the National Weather Service said during the briefing.
A tornado watch has been issued for parts of northeastern South Carolina, as well as much of eastern North Carolina.
The winds have already downed several trees and power lines. The South Carolina Department of Transportation said 200 downed trees have already been felled.
Power outages continue to increase across the state. As of 10:30 a.m. this morning, there were 32,927 outages. That number rose to more than 69,000 by noon. Crews are ready to restore power lines when conditions allow it safely.
According to PowerOutage.us, there were 118,546 customers without power in eastern South Carolina as of 1:22 p.m.
Although there is water on the roads, there are no major closures yet.
The state’s Emergency Management Division has already responded to some mission requests that include debris clearance, deep-sea vehicle requests and rescues.
No fatalities have been reported at this point, but McMaster is urging all residents to stay safe and avoid leaving their homes or driving during the storm.
McMaster said human error is the “deadliest thing we have”, warning miscalculations and carelessness could lead to deaths during and after the storm.
Five shelters have been opened across the state. There are currently 119 people in the shelters, about 15% of their capacity.