Governor Nikki Haley has declared a State of Emergency for the potential impacts of Hurricane Joaquin and flooding from a separate storm.
The declaration puts state emergency plans into effect, enabling agencies to better coordinate resources jointly and respond to requests for state assistance from county emergency managers.
Hurricane Joaquin is currently a category four storm whose track is uncertain.
The Governor urges everyone to continue monitoring developing forecasts through news media and to pay attention to emergency warnings from local and state public safety officials and to take safety actions if instructed to do so.f
She spoke to the news media at the state Emergency Operations Center Friday afternoon, saying the state is expecting historic levels of rain and flooding.
The governor underscored the following important safety reminders:
• This is a good weekend to stay home. Stay off the roads if you don’t have to be out. Have plenty of food and be prepared for power outages. Just because the rain may stop late Sunday, do not lower your level of preparedness.
• This is a storm of historic proportions. We need to take this event very seriously. Be prepared for heavy rainfall to continue through Sunday. Flood waters may not recede quickly.
• For those attending Clemson – Notre Dame football game. If you choose to go, expect very slow traffic, possible detours due to flooding, and muddy conditions. Remember, the game will be on national television.
• Use trusted sources of information. Follow local media outlets and websites including http://www.scemd.org and http://www.scdot.org for updated maps along with other official information and instructions.
• Be aware of potential flash flooding. Flash flooding can catch people off guard. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move.
• Prepare your home for a flood. Move essential items to an upper floor, bring in outdoor furniture, disconnect electrical appliances and be prepared to turn off the gas, electricity and water.
• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall and possibly sweep you away. 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. If you are trapped by rising water, move to the highest possible point you can and call 911.
• 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 could be quickly swept away. One foot of water can cause your car to float off the road.
• Be aware of electricity issues. Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises –get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!