With Hurricane Dorian’s path potentially changing, Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency on Saturday.
McMaster joins Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Florida Governor Rick DeSantis in declaring state of emergencies for their states ahead of the storm, which strengthened to a Category 4 on Saturday morning.
"We encourage all South Carolinians who may be impacted by Hurricane Dorian to be vigilant and prepare now,” McMaster said. “There is no reason for delay.”
Declaring a state of emergency activates the state’s emergency evacuation plans and helps them receive federal aid after the storm. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for Florida, preparing FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts.
After the National Hurricane Center upgraded the storm to a Category 4 on Saturday, it also revealed that the storm’s path could turn northward and brace the coast of Florida instead of tearing through the state.
However, the new path would also impact the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina with damaging winds, storm surge and torrential rain.
Dorian is currently east of the Bahamas and is expected to make landfall on the islands by 2 p.m. on Saturday. The storm is not expected to reach the U.S. until late Monday or early Tuesday.
“Given the strength and unpredictability of the storm, we must prepare for every possible scenario,” McMaster said. “State assets are being mobilized now and Team South Carolina is working around the clock to be ready, if necessary."