Staying prepared: How South Carolina is getting ready for Ian

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 8:32 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 4:07 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Leaders across the state say the time to prepare for Ian is now.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued a state of emergency for South Carolina on Wednesday but stopped short of ordering evacuations. He says evacuations cause a lot of disruptions and because of expert and common-sense opinion, Ian does not have the wind speed that requires people to leave the state.

McMaster says South Carolinians have lived through this before.

“People who have moved into the state recently may not have seen this,” McMaster said. “A lot of the young people may not have seen this. This storm could be very, very dangerous. So, we ask you once again to get your information from official sources, be informed, be prepared and be safe.”

Transportation Secretary Christy Hall says the South Carolina Department of Transportation is prepared to use all available resources to respond to Ian’s impact. She says the agency has more than 2,100 employees statewide who are already doing work in advance of the storm’s arrival.

Hall says they are expecting the winds to increase on Friday.

“And some of those winds, depending on the level and the location of them may trigger some of the high-level bridge closures in the state for a limited period of time-based on judgment of the local law enforcement alongside DOT,” Hall said.

Along with staying prepared, Dominion Energy has staged crew members, vehicles and equipment all across the company’s service territory.

Paul Fischer, the company’s spokesman for South Carolina, says about 200 additional crew members and contract resources are scheduled to arrive from Virginia for assistance.

“We want to make sure that our customers are aware,” Fischer said. “Be aware of down power lines. Stay away from down power lines. And it’s important to remember down power lines, always assume that they’re energized. Stay away. Report that back to us and we’ll come out to make it safe as soon as we possibly can.”

Fischer provided a statement on behalf of Dominion Energy below.

Safety is always our first priority before, during and after the storm. We’re prepared, and we want our customers to be prepared, too.

  • Create an emergency kit with flashlights, batteries and a portable radio.
  • Prepare a first-aid kit with bandages, anti-bacterial wipes, over-the-counter medications, and prescription medications.
  • Prepare a supply of bottled water and non-perishable foods.
  • Charge cell phones and other electronic devices fully before the storm arrives.
  • Protect sensitive electronics with surge protectors or unplug them.
  • Make sure portable generators are fueled and that you know how to connect it and operate the unit safely. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Be aware of downed power lines. Always assume they are energized and dangerous. Stay away, and call Dominion Energy immediately at 1-888-333-4465 to report a downed power line.

Dominion Energy also says you can report power outages and track restoration efforts through their app.

In addition, the city of Charleston has extended sandbag distribution through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. To find the nearest location and additional details, click here.