Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg told CNN on Wednesday that the nearly 135,000 residents of his historic coastal city should leave now before the storm arrives later in the week.
Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered evacuations in counties along the state's coast, including Charleston. All lanes of Interstate 26 are westbound to allow more people to leave the coast and head inland toward the state capital of Columbia.
Tecklenburg said his flood-prone city is preparing for "copious rain" by clearing out the city's drainage system and getting boats and portable pumps ready. Many areas in the low-lying city flood with routine rain storms, causing street closures and detours.