BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C.–Forecasters now believe South Carolina will see some effects from Hurricane Irma, causing municipalities statewide to begin taking precaution.
Irma could make landfall in South Carolina as a category 3 or 4 hurricane, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service in Columbia.
“Right now, the timing would indicate that it would be a Monday or Tuesday event” when Irma reaches SC, forecasters told The State newspaper. “Intensity could change with time, depending with how much interaction it has with the Bahamas or Florida.”
Berkeley County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has since moved to OPCON 4.
Berkeley County leaders have been meeting and discussing preparations for any potential impact Hurricane Irma could have on South Carolina. The County agency is closely monitoring the storm and will be coordinating a response if necessary.
OPCON 4 means the Emergency Management Department is monitoring the storm and its potential threat to South Carolina. Agencies and departments will determine personnel availability and assignments. The Berkeley County EOC will be under “Partial Activation,” primarily staffed by emergency management personnel.
Meanwhile, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has declared a “State of Emergency.”
“South Carolina is fortunate to have time to allow us to prepare for Hurricane Irma’s potential landfall, and it is important that families and individuals in vulnerable areas use that time to review safety plans in case they are needed,” McMaster stated.
Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history, made its first landfall in the northern Caribbean at around 1:47 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service confirmed.
The Berkeley Observer will continue to provide additional updates on Hurricane Irma as it becomes available.