Gov. McMaster declares state of emergency after Monday’s severe weather

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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks at a news conference introducing state Rep. Bobby Cox as his pick to lead the state’s veterans’ affairs agency, on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, at a news conference in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – Governor Henry McMaster has issued a state of emergency in response to the damage caused by Monday morning’s severe weather.

He says this declaration does not impact any executive orders issued by the governor in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in any way.

It does, however, direct that the state’s Emergency Operations Plan be further placed into effect to continue the state’s response to the severe weather event.

READ: Full State of Emergency executive order

Local emergency management officials are assessing the damage caused by the storms in the impacted counties.

Once those assessments are completed and relayed to the S.C. Emergency Management Division, the governor will request a federal disaster declaration accordingly.

According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), 15 tornadoes touched down in the state Monday morning including three in the Upstate.

The storms killed nine people in Colleton, Hampton, Oconee, and Orangeburg counties.

The SCEMD said 911 homes in 21 counties were damaged, including 181 with major damage and 111 which were destroyed.

The American Red Cross is sheltering 236 displaced residents in hotels.

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