COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - All eyes are on Irma at the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center. Sunday afternoon, Governor Henry McMaster was there to give his daily update.
The governor feels he and his department heads have done everything possible to get people out of harm's way. But, as the governor concluded Sunday – "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
There are two main concerns in the Palmetto State – storm surge inundation and strong winds. As far as storm surge is concerned, McMaster said most of the effects will be felt in Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton counties. Wind damage could be more widespread.
Two things that are looking good – gas and traffic. The governor said gas is available and traffic is light. Meanwhile, new shelters are opening up across the state for South Carolinians and our friends from Georgia and Florida.
A few new ones in the Midlands will open Sunday:
- Branchville High School
- Hunter-Kinard Tyler School
- Lake Marion High School
- Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School
- Manning High School
- East Clarendon High School
- Scott’s Branch High School
- Camden High School
- Crestwood High School
- Calhoun County High School
- Dent Middle School is also still open
"When you have flooding and you have winds, you have a great potential for people getting hurt – people and animals – and, of course, [a] property being destroyed – any time you have something like this," the governor said. "Nature is powerful, and if you've seen those photographs and films from down south, you realize how powerful. Sometimes, we forget how powerful it is, but everybody remembers Matthew. This will be, likely in some spots, as damaging as Hurricane Matthew."
Meanwhile, because it looks like the state won't see the worst of Hurricane Irma, the South Carolina National Guard is already in the process of sending hundreds of guardsmen to help in Florida.