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McMaster warns of landslide threat in South Carolina due to Hurricane Florence

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster addresses reporters regarding Hurricane Florence's arrival, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in Columbia, S.C. (WPDE)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP/WPDE) - Officials say Hurricane Florence could bring not only flooding but also landslides to South Carolina.

The National Weather Service is forecasting "significant" river flooding, especially in the northeastern portion of the state. That same area experienced dangerous flooding after Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Gov. Henry McMaster told reporters Thursday that up to 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain in the state's northwestern mountains could mean landslides and dangerous conditions.

"Something else that you may not have heard before is that we may have landslides in the upstate as a result of this," McMaster said. "This is still a very, very dangerous storm, not only on the coast but also in the interior of the state."

McMaster has ordered evacuations along much of the state's coast. He warned residents to be prepared to be without electricity "for a long time" in the storm's aftermath.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have begun to impact the coast of North Carolina.

The South Carolina governor stressed that once Florence hits, "things will not be normal for many days."

McMaster added that when the storm passes, evacuees eager to return to their homes must stay put until the authorities have cleared the area.

"You should plan to be patient 'cause you may not be leaving wherever you are for several days," he said.

A fire official at Thursday's news conference reminded that in the event of a power outage, generators and charcoal grills should not be operated indoors. He also said battery-powered light sources are safer than candles.

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