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South Carolina prepares for Hurricane Ian to make landfall

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Hurricane Ian, now back at hurricane status after briefly becoming a Tropical Storm, is anticipated to reach South Carolina as a Category 1 storm by Friday. The state is forecasted to feel the effects if Ian throughout the day into the evening.

Governor Henry McMaster already declared a State of Emergency ahead of Ian's arrival. In a press conference Thursday afternoon, he asked residents to stay safe and be smart when faced with a Hurricane.

"The biggest variable is human error," Governor McMaster said.

He urged anyone who hasn't made preparations today, to do so quickly.

“If you haven’t yet made plans for every contingency, this afternoon is the time to do so,” he said.

Director of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division Kim Stenson also updated the public on how best to prepare. Stenson asked residents to prepare for potential flooding in their area by moving essential items to a higher floor, and removing outdoor furniture and other items. He reminded the public not to walk or drive through flooded areas.

"Even just six inches of moving water can knock you down," Stenson said.

A press release from the Emergency Management Division says residents in low-lying areas prone to flooding, particularly along the coast, should have a plan to move to higher ground if their homes become unsafe.

"We want to hide from the wind, and run from the water," Governor McMaster said.

The governor said he has not ordered any statewide closures or evacuations just yet. However, a current list of locally operated shelters can be found on the Division's website. School closures in multiple counties have already been announced.

The Governor and Stenson both asked the public follow guidance from local officials, and get their information from official, trustworthy sources.

"Don't follow misinformation or outdated information," Governor McMaster warned.

Residents can sign up for emergency alerts from the Emergency Management Division and follow the Division on twitter for updates.