Communities in South Carolina are preparing for the full force of Category 1 Hurricane Ian on Friday as the tropical storm grows into a full-fledged hurricane after ravaging swaths of Florida.
South Carolina officials have opened public shelters and safe houses to the public as the state government finishes its preparations for the incoming storm.
Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency via an executive order on Wednesday.
Since then, individual county governments have been in regular contact with their residents.
"As of 9 a.m. this morning, Horry County Government has moved to OPCON 2 and a local state of emergency is in effect. This means Horry County Emergency Management is operating with a heightened state of awareness in anticipation of impacts from Tropical Storm Ian," Horry County Emergency Management wrote.
National Guard troops are being positioned to help with the aftermath, including any water rescues, and highway crews will be ready to clear roads.
On Thursday afternoon, a steady stream of vehicles was heading out of Charleston on Interstate 26 with just a few heading into the city.
McMaster issued no evacuation orders, but he said that does not mean the storm is not dangerous.
"We know we can handle this if we use our heads and follow the rules," he said.
"There is the potential for major flooding tomorrow," Emergency Management Director of Charleston County Joe Coates said. "If you live on a barrier island or a low-lying area that historically floods, and you haven’t moved to higher ground, I recommend you relocate now."
The Category 1 storm was expected to make landfall there in the afternoon, with hurricane-force winds expected across the coast of South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina.
There is danger of a life-threatening storm surge from Ian through Friday along the coasts of northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
A storm surge of 4 to 7 feet is expected along the South Carolina coast.
Even animals living on the state's famous Goat Island were evacuated Thursday morning in anticipation of the storm.
The goats' owner, Al Hitchcock, told the press that he was moving the animals for fear of rising floodwaters.
Fox News' Julia Musto contributed to this report.