The South Carolina Emergency Response Team continues to track Hurricane Florence and remains fully dedicated to preparing for the storm’s potential impact on South Carolina.
Forecasters say that Florence weakened slightly overnight to a Category 2 hurricane, but still has the capacity to bring record amounts of rain to South Carolina.
South Carolina National Guard commander Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston said troops are getting ready for operations after Florence. “We are poised and continuing to shift assets,” he said during a Wednesday news briefing at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division headquarters in Lexington County. “The governor’s orders allows us to shift assets throughout the state to be prepared after the storm for search and rescue, further evacuations, security and clearing of routes.”
The South Carolina National Guard has more than 2,100 soldiers and airmen on duty in addition to 50 members of the State Guard.
“We have federal military assets available,” Livingston said. “The fact is we’ll actually have a helicopter carrier and littoral ship after the storm that’s available to help us. So, the assets are there.”
He noted it will be the first time such ships have been available offshore to help following a natural disaster.
The State Emergency Operations Center is fully operational, staffed by emergency personnel from various state agencies and emergency organizations. It will be operational 24 hours a day until the storm passes and cleanup becomes manageable.
Hurricane Florence’s path is still uncertain, according to National Hurricane Center forecasters. Residents should continue to monitor local media and official, verified social media accounts from public safety agencies for the latest information on the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s website at www.scemd.org.